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Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

October 15, 2021
By Dr. Laws Rushing

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Can you imagine, if on the 5 o’clock news, the story was that violence had stopped and there was peace on earth? Oh, how we yearn for such a world! We can hardly fathom a reality of such harmony and accord. But, even if it were true, would we be at peace within ourselves? 

It is only from this inner life that true serenity and peace can originate. The book of James declares, “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?  You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war” (James 4:1,2). The battle for peace must first be won in our hearts. 

The Greek word for peacemaker is ειρηνοποιος. It is obscure and only found in the New Testament. The word connotes not just a passive avoidance of conflict but one who is actively working and promoting peace. The follower of Christ is an agent of peace in a world riddled with strife. Our peacemaking is not born out of our own powers of arbitration but tied to the very character of Christ. 

The way to peace is through Jesus. He promised His disciples, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (Jn. 14:27). The earliest description of the church depicts a peace and fraternity universally praised but rarely emulated:

“Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divide them among all, as anyone had need. So, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:44-47).

Christians are to work for a world free of barriers of distinction which harm and hurt. Paul boldly declared, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal.3:28). Our sole identity as individuals and collectively is Christ which brings peace. We will be called “sons of God!”

Will you live out this peace? The prayer of St. Francis of Assisi displays the way of Christ and peace. Pray with me.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Mountain Top Living ~ Part 8: Blessed are the Pure in Heart

September 24, 2021
By Dr. Laws Rushing

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God
 

Oscar Wilde tells the haunting story of Dorian Gray. A young man whose outer appearance does not fade or diminish with age but a painting of him bears all the sinful blemishes of his heart and soul. The portrait grows hideous as he lives a life of depravity and hedonism. He hides the painting away but eventually Dorian Grey must face his real self and his sinful repugnance. 

Christ commends and commands an inner beauty, purity of the heart to his followers. 

God cannot be seen with physical eyes. In fact, it is certain death, even for the eminent prophet Moses (Ex. 33:20). It is the heart which perceives God and not merely the senses. The word heart occurs in the Bible around 955 times. The heart spiritually represents the whole of man’s inner life combining the emotions, imagination, intellect, volition, memory, and consciousness. It is through this collective and comprehensive lens that God is experienced. Jesus says that the requisite for this experience is a pure and clean heart. This is because of God’s unyielding holiness and transcendence. The Psalmist echoed this truth by detailing, “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God” (Ps. 14:1). We become blinded to God from the inside out.

Jesus came to cure the heart’s blindness to God. Christ encountered a man “blind from birth.” He not only heals him of the physical malady but also illuminates the darkness of his very being. Jesus commands him to “wash in the pool of Siloam” (Jn. 9:7). He came back seeing! But then something amazing happens after the Pharisees fail to believe and see Jesus for who he was.

Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him? And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him, and it is He who is talking with you.” Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him. (Jn. 9:35-38)

The formerly blind man sees beyond his eyes by having faith. His belief is the “evidence of things not seen.” He sees Jesus for who He truly was, the Son of God. His pure heart sees God! Our hearts must be cleansed of sin to have this experience of God or otherwise, we are hopeless and drowning in the gloom of unbelief.

Wilde’s Dorian Grey becomes so hardened of heart that he can find no forgiveness. He laments, “There was purification in punishment. Not 'Forgive us our sins,' but 'Smite us for our iniquities' should be the prayer of a man to a most just God." He confronts the hideous portrait and stabs it through and dies. The picture is restored to its youthful luster while the mortal remains bears the true ugly marks of his recalcitrance. 

The Bible gives us the assurance of forgiveness and fellowship with God. David prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation.”  (Ps. 51:5-12a). The pure in heart will realize a vision of God never imagined when united in eternity. We will “see his face” and faith will be transformed into everlasting light (Rev. 22:4).

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Mountain Top Living ~ Part 7: Blessed are the Merciful

September 17, 2021
By Dr. Laws Rushing

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
 

The saga over the throne of Israel finds no greater drama than the story of Saul and David. It is a history filled with victories, defeat, jealousies, friendship, violence, and surprisingly- mercy.  We find David introduced to King Saul as a musician. David plays his harp to mercifully relieve the distressing spirit within King Saul. Over time, the relationship becomes strained with David’s amazing victory over Goliath and his reputation as warrior eclipsing Saul’s. It becomes apparent that God and the people of Israel are with David in his ascendancy to the throne. King Saul attempts to kill David many times, but his acts of violence are always returned in mercy. David says, “I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.”

We find the apex of David’s mercy to Saul’s house in his treatment of Mephibosheth. He was the son of Jonathan and lame since the age of five and the last heir of King Saul. He was dropped by his nurse as she fled upon hearing the news of Jonathan and King Saul deaths (II Sam. 4:4). 

King David asks, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness” (II Sam. 9:1). Monarchs would normally dispose of heirs and scions of previous courts to prevent any regal claim or possibility of uprising. King David remembered his covenant with Jonathan and showed mercy to Mephibosheth (I Sam. 18:3, 20:14-17). 

King David expressed the “kindness of God” to the house of Saul and gave Mephibosheth a permanent place at his table. The Hebrew word for kindness is hesed, which is sometimes translated as lovingkindness or mercy. Hesed was demonstrated by King David. It represents God’s eternal goodness and covenantal faithfulness (Ex. 34:6,7). God’s people are required to live this mercy out in our daily lives, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy (hesed), and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah. 6:8).

God has proclaimed his perfect hesed or mercy in Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul state, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses and sins, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” (Eph. 2:4,5). God showed his mercy not to people who were merely lame but spiritually dead and invites us to the table of King Jesus. God has called us to extraordinary lives of mercy to friend and foe alike. James writes, “For judgement is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgement” (James 2: 13). Albert Barnes was correct when he profoundly wrote, “Nowhere do we imitate God more than in showing mercy.”

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Mountain Top Living ~ Part 6: Blessed are those who Hunger & Thirst for Righteousness

September 10, 2021
By Dr. Laws Rushing

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
 

 We have all been in those awkward moments when the room is quiet, and our stomachs start to growl and ache for food. We lose focus and our mood becomes grumpy. How many couples have driven around hungry and unable to decide on a restaurant only to become the ill-fated, “Hangry?” Our appetites are inexorable and relentless.  

We read of Christ fasting in the wilderness for 40 days and nights. The Scriptures say, “afterward he was hungry” (Matt. 4:2). Can you imagine the spiritual discipline required to deny your most basic of appetites for that long? Yet, Christ was not ruled by his natural instincts. He was able to withstand even through great temptation from the Devil himself.

The natural instincts of hunger, thirst, sleep, and breathing are necessities of life. We must have them to survive or else. Christ spoke of a deeper need, an unfathomable spiritual hunger and thirst for righteousness that only He can gratify. Jesus uses the word filled (χορτασθησοντα), which means to feed and fatten with grass. Jesus alludes to a farming scene reminiscent of the Shepherd. The Psalmist proclaimed, “I shall not want” with the Lord leading and shepherding. 

Our physical appetites can get the best of us and consume us if we are not spiritually centered in Christ. How can we forget the cautionary story of Esau? He came home hungry and weary from the field. He traded his birthright for a pot of stew from his shrewd brother Jacob. Esau lost his very identity, as the firstborn which came with great blessing through custom and law. As firstborn, He was to receive a double portion of the inheritance and recognized as the leader of the family. But it was “despised” because his appetite for food overcame him. Not only did he miss out on so many earthly blessings, He also, loses his place as the heir and ancestor to Israel and the Messiah. It was all for a pot of stew.

There is an appetite for so much more than this world has to offer. God has set eternity within our heart (Eccl. 3:11). It is only in Him that we can find true fulfillment, but we must be hungry and thirsty for righteousness. 

The disciples urged Jesus to eat in Samaria to which He replied, “I have food to eat of which you do not know” (Jn. 4:32). The disciples soon learned that He was the “bread of life” and the “living water” (Jn. 6: 48, 4: 10). The greatest yearning of the heart is the spiritual needs for truth, purpose, worship, forgiveness, and love which are found in relationship to the Savior. The Psalmist of old wrote, “As a deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for you, O God” (Ps. 42:1).

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Mountain Top Living ~ Part 5: Blessed are the Meek

September 03, 2021
By Dr. Laws Rushing

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
 

God ordained earth to be placed under the stewardship of humanity. This is the original blessing and covenant of creation. The book of Genesis says, “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God, He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen. 1:27,28). Mankind has fulfilled this primeval vocation of dominion but only in a truncated manner. Humanity became subdued by the earth itself because of mankind’s rebellion to God in the fall. The ground is cursed, and pronouncement was made, “For dust you are, and unto dust you shall return” (Gen. 3:17-19).

The restoration of the inheritance of earth was initiated in Abram. God entered a covenant which included a promise of making the descendants of Abram- a great nation, great name, and great blessing among all the families of the earth (Gen. 12:1-3). Israelites, the seed of Abram, subdued the earth by capturing Canaan but only as a “shadow of the good things to come” (Heb. 10:1). The people of Israel entered the promise land after centuries of slavery and nomadic life and conquered through many battles and bloodshed.

The people of Israel expected the Messiah to reinstate their standing as a nation long lost. Christ came not to merely subdue Israel from the Romans but to fulfill humanity’s most ancient vocation over the entire creation! This inheritance would not come through violence, as with Joshua, but through the meekness or gentleness of Jesus. The word “meek” is almost synonymous with weakness in our language but the original Greek word (πραΰς) carries the meaning of strength under control. Jesus quotes (Psalms 37:11) which expresses the Messianic hope emergent in His ministry and eventual kingdom.

The Scriptures speak of Moses as “meek” or humble, “more than all the men who were on the face of the earth” (Number 12: 3). Moreover, we find in Christ, the greatest strength under control or meekness, which will vanquish all the powers of evil and death. Jesus remarked, “I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matt. 11:29). It is through the dominion of Christ that the original blessing of creation is fulfilled. The Hebrew writer states that God has “put all in subjection under Him, He left nothing that is not put under Him. But now we do not yet see all things put under Him” (Heb. 1:6-9). 

We must follow Christ in his humility and gentleness knowing, all things are under His control. It is through the means of the Gospel that the greatest victory can and will be won. Our meekness will ultimately be revealed and rewarded in the fullest sense when Christ returns. He will eschatologically create the “new heavens and new earth” which will be His and His people. Not only will Christ subdue the creation, as originally intended, but will transform us into the “image of God” which was defaced by the fall (Rom. 8:29, II Cor. 3:18, Phil. 3:21). Truly, the meek are blessed.

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Mountain Top Living ~ Part 4: Blessed are those who Mourn

August 27, 2021
By Dr. Laws Rushing

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
 

We can hardly imagine the horrific scene of Jesus on the cross. Beaten and scourged within an inch of His life and suspended by nails before the holy city of Jerusalem. He struggled for every breath in the race against asphyxia and blood loss. His nerves radiated with pangs and paroxysms. His soul shadowed in the darkness of evil and injustice. The Apostle John recollects, “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother” (Jn. 19:25).  Mary witnessed the excruciating death of her own son. Her own soul pierced through by the sword of sorrow and grief (Lk. 2: 35.) 
 

The word “mourn” (πενθέω) connotes severe grief as with the loss of a loved one or family member.  It is the kind of sorrow that cannot be shrouded or hidden but overwhelms like the unrelenting waves of the sea. It is the anguish of the heart and soul which brings uncontrollable tears. Tragedy and suffering will find all of us in due time as with our Savior. Jesus mourned for His friend Lazarus (Jn. 11:35). Jesus wept for Jerusalem because of the catastrophic estrangement from Yahweh (Matt. 23:37-39). 

The capacity for grief reveals the courage to see the suffering within ourselves and others. It is so much easier to look away than to emotionally invest. The good Samaritan “saw” the wounded man and “had compassion on him” (Lk. 10:33), whereas the other more prestigious men saw but “passed by the other side.” They lacked the ability to really see the person and feel another’s pain. Jesus blesses those able to empathize with others and act accordingly. 

The blessing of grief is also indicative of one’s ability to love. Our grief is a mirror to the heart. It is with those we love the most, that we feel the greatest bereavement. Jesus wept so much for Lazarus that the people remarked, “See how he loved him!” We can hardly contend that the greatest of virtues, eternal love- is not worth inevitable finite losses. Anyone, who has ever loved knows its immense value. As the poet Tennyson says, “tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

Also, the “Franciscan Blessing” urges, “May God bless you with tears, to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain to joy.”  It is when we have the spiritual capacity to mourn that we can love in the deepest sense and find the greatest comfort. The promise of God’s intimacy is even through our darkest moments of despair. “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart and saves such as have a contrite spirit” (Ps. 34:18).

Mary endured the crushing heartbreak that no mother should endure. She found, however, interminable comfort.  Mary was gathered with the disciples 50 days later, on the day of Pentecost, as directed by her risen Son in Jerusalem. “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers” (Acts. 2:14).

 Mary’s mourning gave light to the greatest joy ever known. (Rev. 21: 4) “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Mountain Top Living ~ Part 3: Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

August 20, 2021
By Dr. Laws Rushing

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

The sublime sermon begins with the blessings of the Messiah on an unlikely list of personalities known as the Beatitudes. The kingdom of Heaven is proclaimed by Christ to be of immeasurable value throughout the Gospels. Jesus compares it to a “treasure hidden in a field” or a “pearl of great price” (Matt. 13:44-46).  The Kingdom is eternal and “not of this world” (Jn. 18:36). Yet, we will find it totally victorious over the kingdoms of this world (Rev. 11:15). Moreover, Christ in His temptation, yields not to their fleeting earthly glory but upholds the majesty of the one true God of Israel (Matt. 4: 8-10).

The kingdom of heaven is promised to be possessed by the improbable “poor in spirit.” Those who are spiritually destitute, dependent, and impoverished have the real capacity to receive His kingdom. Those whose hearts are filled with frivolities of pride, possessions, and self-will are unable to receive the innumerable riches of His Kingdom. Jesus, rejected in his own hometown of Nazareth, identified Himself with the “poor in spirit” by proclaiming the words of Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Lk. 4:18,19)

We are reminded of the young man who questioned, “Good teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” The inquirer rejected the counsel of Christ for the vanity of the world. First, we see that his heart had fallen prey to pride and self-righteousness. Christ gave a partial list of the ten commandments that the young man carelessly dismisses as “kept” in justifying himself without further thought or introspection. It is the very unnamed first commandments along with covetousness that we find him guilty by story end.

Jesus reveals that the rich young ruler “lacks one thing” and lovingly commands him to “sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow me.” His heart was filled with pride and possessions because he will not relent the earthly riches in the pursuit of eternal life with Christ. His allegiances are with the world and himself. He became sorrowful because he had not the poverty of spirit required for the inheritance of eternal life (Lk. 18:18-23). 

In contrast, the apostles Peter and John find at the temple gate, a man totally incapacitated and deprived by lameness. He is “carried” daily to beg from those who enter at the place called “Beautiful.” He had not any pride but begs in humiliation, he had not possessions but dependent on the daily mercy of almsgivers, his own will becomes powerfully superseded by the grace of God. “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” 

What begins in richness and self-righteousness ends in sorrow with the young ruler. What begins in total deprivation and poverty ends in joy. “So he, leaping up, stood and walked, and entered the temple with them- walking, leaping, and praising God” (Acts 3:1-11). The lame man, who was prohibited to enter the temple by law and tradition (Lev. 21:15), is now welcome into the full fellowship of God by the blessing of Jesus. 

We must empty ourselves of the pretension of pride, possession, and self-will. Let the true richness of God’s kingdom find reign in our hearts with this blessing.

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Mountain Top Living ~ Part 2: Blessed

August 13, 2021
By Dr. Laws Rushing

Blessed

We are all in search of that elusive thing called happiness. We have felt happiness’ effervescent glow but found the promise fleeting in our natural circumstances. The ancients, like us, pursued the “good life.” Aristotle used the Greek work εὐδαιμονία to describe happiness and fulfillment which was to be found in achieving the “golden mean” of moderation and balance. The stoics spoke of ἀταραξία, which was described as discovering a state of mind which was emotionally unperturbed or numb to the assault of life’s troubles and trials. Moderns have found consolation in narcissistic adages like Joseph Campbell’s “follow your bliss” or “do you.” All these definitions depend on a human capacity which is psychologically false and unfeasible.

The world advertises that we can find happiness in the endless products of convenience and status. We are always just one purchase away from total fulfillment as we peruse Amazon and Pinterest. It seems everyone else is achieving something that appears like happiness on social media because we find ourselves envious and left with feelings of inadequacies as we scroll through the smiling pics of new lovers, houses, cars, and tropical vacations. All the while, the house needs cleaning, and our spoiled children keep asking for something else that cost too much and that we never had growing up.

Jesus begins the sermon by saying the word μακάριοι or blessed. The word means happiness, fortunate or favored. Christ pronounces the blessing of the Kingdom on eight different states of human character. These states of character are inversions of what we hold to be elite by the world’s standards then and now. It is a total reevaluation of where happiness can be found. First, we must acknowledge that happiness begins with Jesus Himself. He is the One, who speaks reality into existence and can pronounce happiness into your soul and life.  There is no sustaining happiness apart from Himself. 

The Scriptures reveal that our joy is not circumstantially based in this world but found in our eternal relationship with God. Our relationship is opened through these eight spiritual states of character that Jesus blesses: poor in spirit, mourning, meekness, spiritual appetite, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, and persecution. It is through these often-avoided doors that we find true fulfillment and happiness because Christ’s personality is revealed thoroughly. The Apostle Paul had discovered this beatific vision in his own life. He was chained but could say, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things, I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:11-13). 

The experience of God Himself is the greatest felicity and happiness. Other experiences only vaguely allude to God’s goodness or are counterfeits altogether. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.” (Ps. 34:8-10)

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Mountain Top Living: A Deeper Look at the Sermon on the Mount

August 06, 2021
By Dr. Laws Rushing

Mountain Top Living: A Deeper Look Into the Sermon on the Mount

 

And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.  Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying.

The sermon on the mount represents the single longest recorded teaching of Jesus in the New Testament. The breadth and depth of the sermon are utterly amazing despite its brevity by modern standards. The sermon can be read in just twelve minutes, but covers a plethora of subjects including character, ethics, marriage, authentic religion, and happiness.  Jesus challenges His hearers to ascend to the mountain top of Christian living. Today, we will embark on that journey for the higher perspective in Christ. But first a warning, Jesus’ teachings are not always easy, comforting, or agreeable, but neither is climbing a mountain. 

“And seeing the multitudes”

Jesus was surrounded by need. We may recall that people clamored for Him in various situations (Mark 2:4, 5:31). The multitudes were sick, hungry, desperately alone, and spiritually broken.  The multitudes were gathering around Jesus because of His immense power, pure life, and pervading voice. Multitudes need this sermon more than ever! We pride ourselves in our individualistic modernity and pluralism, in which everything seems relative, but Jesus emphatically says, not so! The only way to achieve mountain top living is under the mantle of His lordship and teaching.

“He went up on a mountain”
 

The Messiah ushering in the new covenant from the mountain is typologically tied to Moses delivering the law at Sinai. The Hebrew writer declares that Jesus is “counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house” (Heb. 3:3). Jesus is the fulfillment of prophecy and successor of Moses as promised centuries beforehand (Deut. 18:15,16) (Acts 3:22). The mountain plays a central role in Jesus’ life. It was a place of solitude and prayer (Matt. 14:23), temptation (Matt. 4:8), transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-13), and redemption on Golgotha (Mark 14:22). Jesus preaches from the mountain and urges us to see things from a higher perspective. But more importantly, to live out what we learn.

“He was seated”
 

Jesus assumed the position of sitting which was the traditional posture for teachers and rabbis during their discourses. His teaching was marked by unprecedented spiritual authority. Jesus made no reference to other notable rabbis as was custom but only to the law and his declaration, “But I say unto you.” The sermon concludes with Matthew’s observation, “He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matt. 7:29). Jesus’ teaching was sometimes described as a “hard saying,” and caused questioning, anger, or astonishment (Jn. 6:60, Mk. 2:20, Lk. 4:28). Yet, when chosen as with Mary, the sister of Lazarus, described as that “which will not be taken away” (Lk. 10:42). Jesus’ teaching was not limited to his words but was divinely demonstrated in His life (I Pet. 2:21) (Heb. 4:15).

His disciples came to Him
 

Will you answer Jesus’ call to follow even unto the mountain or the cross? Albert Schweitzer famously wrote, “He comes to us as One unknown, without a name, as of old, by the lakeside, He came to those men who knew Him not. He speaks to us the same words: "Follow thou me!" and sets us to the tasks which He has to fulfill for our time. He commands. And to those who obey Him, whether they be wise or simple, He will reveal himself in the toils, the conflicts, the sufferings which they shall pass through in His fellowship, and, as an ineffable mystery, they shall learn in their own experience Who He is.”

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Her Children Rise Up & Call Her Blessed

May 07, 2021
By Dr. Laws Rushing

“Her Children Rise Up and Call Her Blessed”

Edgar Allen Poe eloquently wrote, “Because I feel that, in the Heavens above, the angels, whispering to one another, can find, among their burning terms of love, none so devotional as that of Mother.” Mothers are truly special and leave an indelible mark on our hearts and lives. I thank God for the grace of a godly mother growing up. I treasure every moment with her today.  Mother’s Day can also be extremely tough as we remember those who are no longer with us. Heaven is filled with the smiling faces of mothers. This gives us great reason to live faithfully to God so that we may be reunited with them in eternity. 

Mothers are not only biological relationships but spiritual ones. The church is composed and described as the “family of God.” The Apostle Paul says that we are to treat older women as mothers and the younger as sisters “with all purity.” I can think of many “mothers” that I have known in my life from schoolteachers to family friends who nurtured and loved me as their own. I am forever grateful for their compassion and patience.

Mothers demonstrate the valuable lesson of unconditional love. It is an utterly amazing thing to see the powerful transition of a woman to a mother. I remember seeing my wife Stacey care for our newborn daughter with almost complete abandonment of herself. A mother will go to any length for her child and even God compared His unfailing love to a mother. (Isa. 49: 15) "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!”

Mothers are our first teachers. It is through their touch, words, and actions that our very consciousness is conceived. Mothers do not settle but help actualize who their children are really supposed to be. I remember when I was younger that an elementary teacher thought I would not amount to much. (No comments please) She said that I was going to fail, and we were just two weeks into 2nd grade. My mother got all the workbooks, and I went to her school at night! I passed, maybe, without flying colors, but I passed!

Mothers reveal to us true beauty. Our world myopically focuses on surface appearances to the disregard of character and piety. The Scriptures tell us that God looks at the inner person (I Sa. 16:7). The Apostle Peter declares, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

This weekend, as we honor mothers, remember God’s unfathomable love and grace. Pay homage to the mothers of your life. Appreciate their amazing love and learn from it. Mothers demonstrate unconditional love, teach us invaluable lessons, and reveal true beauty.  “Her children rise up and call her blessed, her husband also, he praises her.” Love you Mom. Amen.

Posted in Biblical Worldview
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Serenity Prayer

April 29, 2021
By Dr. Laws Rushing

“Serenity Prayer”

Spurgeon boldly proclaimed, “We know not what prayer cannot do!” Prayer has been the comfort and catalyst of saints for countless generations. Prayer leads the intentional life as Christ followers. It also releases the anxiety of things beyond our control to the sovereign God. It is a grand act of faith when we close our eyes to the world and enter the throne room of God. A prayer that has been exceptionally helpful to me personally and organizationally is the “Serenity Prayer.” It was written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. It has long been uttered by those in recovery from addiction or distress.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.

Peace only comes through relinquishing control to God. We do this in two ways. First, we trust God for those things beyond our purview or choice. Secondly, we align our lives with the will of God through knowledge of His word and discernment from the Holy Spirit. We all struggle with the unknown and overwhelming situations such as sickness, divorce, death, money issues that push us over the brink of our mental and spiritual health. Finding serenity in these moments are only possible through trusting God for His immense goodness and faithfulness to His word.

We need courage to face our true choices. People often evade responsibility by hiding or blurring the lines of control. We focus on issues beyond our reach such as how others believe, think, and behave while avoiding ourselves and personal difficulties. It takes real mettle to truly accept the obligations we have relationally with our spouse, neighbor, God, and live up to them.

Wisdom is required for knowing how to trust God in the vast unknowns of life and to face what he has placed in our actual hands. Sometimes we fret over the feeling of powerlessness and then shirk our responsibility to those we love. God promises us wisdom, if we ask, as in the Serenity Prayer. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally.” So, as you live, remember the Serenity Prayer to help you focus on our loving God, to inspire courage to face your true choices, and the wisdom to do all the above knowing the difference.

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Heart of RCA

April 20, 2021
By Dr. Laws Rushing

“Heart of RCA”

It has been an incredible year at Riverside Christian Academy. Our school has rallied together amidst immense challenges and amazing opportunities. Students, faculty, and families have come together and championed the theme of unity through increasingly volatile times. Our verse this year was, “endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.” Our commitment to each other has been a radiant light to the soul and community. We have protected our students from the pandemic and the loss of learning through substantial planning and extremely hard work.

The “Heart of RCA” is more than an event that takes place every year. It is our parents putting in the required time with a child on homework. It is our students volunteering in a community ministry, or teachers going above and beyond with hybrid instruction, so our students do not miss out on invaluable learning. The heart of RCA has been clearly seen through the generosity of our sponsors and donors in both “Giving Tuesday” and “Heart of RCA.” Our PTO has organized wonderful improvements to our landscaping and facilitated Junior Pro basketball to great success.

It is all about heart at RCA.

The heart of a person represents the internal reality of beliefs, values, motivations, and conscience. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.” It is through the instrument of the heart that we perceive God in all His glory. Our words and deeds are the manifestations of the heart.  Jesus declares, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.”

Let us continue the work!  We have many great things on the horizon for RCA. We are seeing tremendous interest in enrollment for 21/22.  This will drive many improvements from our strategic plan which include academic enhancement and tech advancement. If we continue to focus on the inward reality of our heart, then God will bless our school externally to show His grace and favor. “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” See you tomorrow night at “Heart of RCA!”

Posted in Biblical Worldview

J.O.Y.

April 15, 2021
By Dr. Laws Rushing

J. O. Y.

The Baylor Bears stunned the world in their first college men’s basketball championship over Gonzaga. It is difficult to quantify or explain all the required magical elements in a championship team. Many point to the talent and execution of crucial players or clutch plays and rightly so, but team culture contributes immensely to the psychology of a team when it comes to hard work, resilience, teamwork, and winning. 

Baylor were unified in their message after the championship game. From the Head coach to the MVP, the acronym J.O.Y. was used to describe their championship season and team. It means Jesus, Others, then Yourself. The team huddled in prayer almost immediately after the game. The gratitude to God and mutual love among players was palpable as the celebration ensued.

In a world, in which, “first place” matters most, Baylor reminds us that Jesus can bring the absolute best in people cooperatively. It was not about the final score but who they were together with Christ, which was the ultimate victory. I pray that we can find this truth. Jesus prayed for our unity. 

“I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.” (Jn. 17: 20-23)

Unity comes through Humility. Paul reflected, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Phil. 2:3). The Baylor team mantra was, “others then yourself.” Our natural inclination is towards selfishness and pride. Christ taught and lived something much different. Greatness is achieved in service, which means giving of ourselves to others. This can be monetarily, emotionally, spiritually or a pass for a jump shot!

As we get closer to Jesus, we get closer to each other. AW Tozer once illustrated, “Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow.” Jesus can bring an amazing joy that unites people of faith together in incomprehensible ways like a championship trophy. But, beyond that, it can even show up in you. 

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Headlines and Fine Print

April 08, 2021
By Dr. Laws Rushing

Headlines and Fine Print

The recent headline from newspapers around the world state that church membership has fallen under the majority in the United States this year. This seismic shift of values is happening on every level. The research points to a generational detachment to religion declining to an abysmal low with millennials at just 36 percent engaged in church membership. Many are beginning to worry, who will be able to fill the vast vacuum, if the church continues to decline? Churches have been responsible for much of the charity work performed in the last 100 years. Shadi Hamid, at the Brookings Institution, recently concluded that political fervor has replaced religious consciousness. This may be why, in part, many understand social issues on a surface level philosophically or not at all. Menacing fanaticism is increasing on the far left and right and threatening good will and peace, as a result too.

Crisis of Authority and Trust

The decline of church attendance is a part of a bigger problem in the widespread crisis of authority. Poor leadership and misinformation have eroded trust, not only in faith institutions, but also in the government, media, medical, scientific institutions, educational system and in some cases for particularly good reason. Social engineers and political hacks are cornering the market of every fear and prejudice to exploit for power and money. Our pluralistic society seems exceptionally vulnerable as we lose grip, in the reach for progress.

Misunderstanding of Tolerance

Many have a misunderstanding of what tolerance means. They think, it is either accepting all few points as equal and true or insisting their own “good” values in others by coercing speech and thought. Tolerance actually means that we forbear alternative views despite our non-acceptance or disagreement peacefully. In the coming years, free speech will be our greatest friend and ally and under the most threat. It is the only mechanism that genuine dialog can happen, and truth championed. 

Mission Drift in the Church

The Apostle Peter contended, “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God.” We must begin to assess what the church has done or not done to contribute to the loss of confidence in so many. It seems the church has lost its calling and must remember the original mission through the eyes of Christ. Jesus proclaimed, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” The church has fallen prey to political aversions, pyramid schemes, and false prophets for too long. We must expect more of ourselves and pluck the beam from our own eye so we can see clearly again. We are here for the lost and hurting primarily, even for those we disagree.

May God bless and help us as we strive to regain a sense of legitimate authority trusting in Christ and His word. Jesus said, “All authority is given to me in Heaven and in earth.” Jesus proclaimed that we are to share common grace for all people whether good or evil as our heavenly Father. We should aspire to be at peace as much as depends on us. The church must renew its mission that has set it apart from every earthly institution through service and holy living, then maybe we will have a different headline.

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Easter Promise

April 01, 2021
By Dr. Laws Rushing

Easter Promise
 

I remember when my father’s spirit quietly left this world in the early hours of somber morning. My mother held vigil with him, holding his hand for hours as the waves of grief washed through her sore eyes. The nurse came in and ceremonially washed his body. In some sense, I was relieved that his suffering had ended, but my life emerged with a never-ending emptiness in his shape. It wasn’t until my father’s passing that I truly realized just how much I looked to him for approval and motivation. A couple of months later, I defended my dissertation after years of doctoral toil. I longed to hear him say, “I’m proud of you.” I wept, as I looked at my phone, knowing his earthly voice was stilled.

Easter isn’t just about what happened 2000 years ago. It is a glimpse into the future through God’s greatest sign, the resurrection of His Son.

We have always struggled with the fact of death. It is the great equalizer and comes to all of us, whether we are rich, poor, intelligent, average, powerful, weak, healthy, young, old. It can be so unfair and take folks too soon or even too late. Tyrants and despots have wielded the power of death as a final control device over the masses, yet, it rules them too. Philosophers of antiquity gave us the phrase, memento mori, which means remember death. The modern mind remains distracted with entertainment and snake oil promises of staying young but death’s ominous darkness looms greater with each passing day for each of us.

The Scriptures begin with death from the very inception of life. It rose from humanity’s rejection of God in the garden. Our lives are characterized by brevity and declared to be like a “vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” Then, we are forgotten. It is often said that we die twice, when we stop breathing and when our name is uttered the last time. These inalterable facts bring us to despair, absurdity and anxiety.

There is Jesus. 

A teacher who came onto the historical stage without the usual credentials of riches or earthly power like other renowned actors. He came as a paradox. His unlikely austere and lowly life was crowned with heavenly miracles, wonders, and signs. His message was identical to his very person. I am salvation. Other teachers talk of the afterlife and ask for faith, but faith in what? Faith in faith? Faith in our dying selves? Jesus presents a divine demonstration of the power over that which has held claim over every sage, king, and peasant. Jesus says, “I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”

If we follow Jesus today, we will follow him out of the tomb into eternal life. The future looks like Jesus for His people! The prevailing darkness has been dispelled by the begotten Word of God, “Let there be light!” History’s sway is not held by those who shed the most blood but by the one whose blood was shed for you. Repent, for the Kingdom of God is here! Rejoice! He is risen! He is salvation.

I will see my father again. I will hear his voice. Christ has made a promise beyond just hollow words or pithy sayings. He has given us an Easter morning with the full assurance of something much more. An Easter for His church and the world at his return. Lord, Come quickly, Amen.

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Life's Garden

March 24, 2021
By Dr. Laws Rushing

“Life’s Garden”

I remember my friend Theophilus Gipson contemplating his garden, “It’s not time to plant, too much rain.” He was a man in tune with the seasons and the sky. I respected his discernment and wisdom and knew it came from many years of experience. Jesus rebuked those who were spiritually bereft of this capacity.  “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?” (Lk. 12:55, 56)

The seasons are shifting, and we see the sovereignty of God. The earth is so ordered that humanity can cooperate with God’s prevailing will and goodness. The Scriptures speak of humanity’s first vocation, “Then the Lord God took man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend it and keep it” (Gen. 2:15). God’s perfect creation included not only freedom of will but hearty responsibility to earth and God.

Our very lives can be thought of as a garden. The Bible uses plants, trees, gardens, and vineyards as symbols for various spiritual truths. Remember the words of the Psalmist concerning the one who delights in the law, “He is like a tree, planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth fruit in its season.” The words of Jesus vividly portray Himself as the “true vine” and we as the “branches.” Jesus compared the Kingdom to various gardens and vineyards (Matt. 13:1-9, 31,32) (Matt. 20:1-16)

Our lives can be known by the fruit or the externalities. “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure produces evil; for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:43-45). 

We are responsible for the garden of our lives. Yes, there are aspects of life which are way beyond our control, but the Bible promises, “Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Gal. 6:7). We have a direct influence on what is growing in our garden. Paul further states, “For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” The Spirit of God produces extraordinary fruit like “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal. 5:22,23).

 It is not only time to work in our earthly gardens but the spiritual ones too. God will give the increase a hundred-fold.

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Beginning of the Future

March 04, 2021
By Dr. Laws Rushing

“Beginning of the Future”

The world of K-12 education is fast paced, ever evolving research with new trends, curriculum, testing, theories, books, software, testing, programming, governmental initiatives with experts and consultants all offering a better way. 

The one constant in successful education is the teacher.

For all the bells and whistles on the market and there are some great products and technology. Nothing compares to the teacher! It is a tried-and-true institution, from single room schoolhouses to modern virtual classrooms. The teacher is truly irreplaceable and integral to whoever we are.  Someone once said, “teaching is the profession that creates all others.” All lawyers, doctors, presidents, generals, scientists, preachers have been created from the diligence of teachers.

Teachers create miracles. When a student begins to sense the bigger world that is out there and even within themselves, something quite extraordinary happens. Dreams and possibilities merge with reality and choices. The trajectory of lives and history intersect in the classroom with the open sky.

Teachers put up with a lot. I have seen amazing patience in our faculty with seemingly insuperable challenges with many twists and turns. Parents can be myopically focused and not understand the range of tensions and needs in managing a full classroom over the course of an entire school year. Teachers not only educate but put play nurse, counselor, friend, and cop, all in a matter of minutes. Oh yeah, they teach too!

Teachers are learners. The rules change at the drop of hat. The greatest teachers are students first. A love for learning is vital and cannot be faked in classroom full of geniuses and clairvoyants. 

Teachers are human beings. Yes, they have faults and weaknesses just like anyone else. Sometimes they trip over their own cape in expecting too much or assigning a lot of homework but, they love your kid! The great ones love them like their own.

In conclusion, do not make teachers lives more difficult than they have to be. We do this quite easily by undermining their authority, unkind words, or apathy at home. Secondly, encourage them. Remember, just how difficult your child can be. Lastly, Pray for them. They are the beginning to your child’s future.

Posted in Biblical Worldview

God or Chaos

February 26, 2021
By Dr. Laws Rushing

“God or Chaos”

Reinhold Niebuhr famously began his magna opus, “The Nature and Destiny of Man” with these words, “Man is his own most vexing problem.” What once seemed a distant thunder has swelled to a deafening crescendo of uncertainty and anxiety as to the moral health of our country. The innocent blood of millions of unborn children is lauded as a “right.” Ostensible racism has found a new comfortable place in the public square on both sides of the political spectrum. Unchecked nationalism and amnesiac socialism are peddled to secure the votes of masses as money flies out the window. “Me too” came after sexual mores had been dismantled and exploited by our media and society at every turn. Throw in a pandemic with rising deaths, suicides, and substance abuse and here we are. All the lines that are sacred and profane have been blurred, crossed to reduced to a scribble with no meaning.

All the while, our children have been watching and learning. 

The home is the last bastion of hope against the continued assault of relativism and colliding self-centered universes. Parents must be resolved in protecting and spiritually educating their children. The word that first comes to mind is the German expression, Weltanschauung. The word literally means “world view”. It is our perceptive lens in interpreting who we are and why we are here. Jesus alludes to this by saying, “but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matt. 6:23, RSV). The way we see our world through the lens of our heart is the key to combating the darkness.

If God is not the center of your home then chaos will be. 

The Bible speaks of the home as a spiritual school. The Torah says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord;  and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deut. 6:4-6, RSV).

Russian Alexander Solzhenitsyn painfully detailed the brutal regime of atheistic communism and the Gulag death camps and concluded:

“Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened." Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.”

Let us pray and live in such a way that it will never be said of our homes that we have “forgotten God.” We will join with Joshua, “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

 

Posted in Biblical Worldview

God Ideas: George Washington Carver's Story

February 12, 2021
By Whitney Creasy

History gives us the ability to stop and remember significant past events that have shaped the world in which we live. This is why every year the month of February is designated as Black History Month. In 1926, Black History Month was initiated to raise awareness and acknowledge the accomplishments and influential experiences of black men and women. Black history is not merely the history of African Americans; it is our history as the American people.

One of my first exposures to the accomplishments and influential experiences of Black Americans was in fourth-grade. My fourth-grade teacher’s name was Mr. Orr. He was a very tall man who towered over his 10-year-old students, but he spoke with a love and sincerity that made him seem like an oversized teddy-bear that you might win at the skating rink.

Mr. Orr was a great teacher who not only taught us the facts, but also challenged us to love learning, think critically, find answers for ourselves, and help our peers. He was tasked with teaching us Alabama History during our social studies class time. Mr. Orr assigned Alabama History projects in the form of book reports and visual posters. He allowed us to choose the subject of our projects from a list of famous Alabamians, and then gave us the opportunity to teach our classmates about everything we had learned while doing research. Several Black Alabamians were included on the list like: Rosa Parks, Civil Rights Activist; General “Chappie” James, America’s first four-star Black General; WC Handy, the Father of the Blues; Jesse Owens, world-record-breaking track and field athlete; and George Washington Carver, a professor and scientist at Tuskegee University.

George Washington Carver, though not a native Alabamian, taught and studied at the famous Tuskegee University, a historically Black college in Alabama. I was so fascinated with his research and development for the many uses of peanuts, but what I never learned about was Carver’s faith in God and the role his prayer life played in his scientific research until last year when I read Mark Batterson’s book Draw the Circle. In the book, Batterson shares many inspiring stories of God’s answers to prayer. This is George Washington Carver’s story from Draw the Circle:

George Washington Carver is considered one of the greatest scientific minds of the twentieth century. Around the turn of the twentieth century, the agricultural economy of the South was suffering as the boll weevil devastated cotton crops. The soil was being depleted of nutrients because farmers planted cotton year in and year out. It was George Washington Carver who introduced the concept of crop rotation. He encouraged farmers to plant peanuts, and they did. The strategy revived the soil, but farmers were frustrated because there was no market for peanuts. Their abundant peanut crop rotted in warehouses. When they complained to Carver, he did what he had always done. Carver prayed about it.

Carver routinely got up at 4:00 a.m., walked through the woods, and asked God to reveal the mysteries of nature. He circled Job 12:7-8: Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will teach you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you. 

Carver literally asked God to reveal the mysteries of nature. And God did.

In Carver’s own words:

I said, “Lord, why did you make the universe?”

The Lord replied, “Ask for something more in proportion to that little mind of yours.”

“Then why did you make the earth, Lord?” I asked.

“Your little mind still wants to know far too much,” replied God.

“Why did you make man, Lord?” I asked.

“Far too much. Far too much. Ask again,” replied God.

“Explain to me why you made plants, Lord,” I asked.

“Your little mind still wants to know far too much.”

So I meekly asked, “Lord, why did you make the peanut?”

And the Lord said, “For the modest proportions of your mind, I will grant you the mystery of the peanut. Take it inside your laboratory and separate it into water, fats, oils, gums, resins, sugars, starches and amino acids. Then recombine these under my three laws of compatibility, temperature and pressure. Then you will know why I made the peanut.”

On January 20, 1921, George Washington Carver testified before the United States House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee on behalf of the United Peanut Association of America. The chairman, Joseph Fordney of Michigan, told him he had ten minutes. An hour and forty minutes later, the committee told George Washington Carver he could come back anytime he wanted. Carver mesmerized the committee by demonstrating dozens of uses for the peanut. In the end, Carver discovered more than three hundred uses for the peanut. Or maybe more accurately, the Lord revealed more than three hundred uses. They included everything from glue, to shaving cream, to soap, to insecticide, to cosmetics, to wood stains, to fertilizer, and linoleum.

So the next time you shave or put on makeup, the next time you stain the deck or fertilize your garden, the next time you enjoy a good old-fashioned PBJ, remember that all of those things trace back to a man who had a habit of prayer at 4 AM.  They weren’t good ideas. They were God ideas.

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Family of God

February 04, 2021
By Dr. Laws Rushing

“Family of God”

Family is the masterpiece of God’s creation and crowned in the garden of Eden with faithful marriage (Matthew 19:1-10). God has, furthermore, revealed Himself fully and absolutely through the familial relationship of Father to Son, in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. Christ ushered an intimacy into the life of a Christian by naming God, Abba! There is a special disclosure of tenderness and trust unheard till spoken by our Lord concerning His Father.

Joachim Jeremias describes, "Jesus' use of the word Abba in addressing God is unparalleled in the whole of Jewish literature. The explanation of this fact is to be found in the statement of the fathers Chrysostom, Theodore, and Theodoret that Abba, (as jaba is still used today in Arabic) was the word used by a young child to its father; it was an everyday family word, which no one had ventured to use in addressing God. Jesus did. He spoke to His heavenly Father in a childlike, trustful, and intimate way like a little child to its father."

Christ did not come to merely moralize or reform but to transform us into children of God through his own life. (John 1:12) “But to all who received him (Jesus), who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” Our kinship with the Father is the spiritual rebirth into the Kingdom of God by “water and the spirit” realized in baptism and regeneration of the Holy Spirit. (John 3:1-5, Acts 2:38). 

Jesus in his life and ministry contrasted the family of flesh to the spiritual family by this shocking incident, “And his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting about him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, asking for you.” And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking around on those who sat about him, he said, “Here are my mother and  my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and, sister, and mother.”

We are united in the eternal family of God (Ephesians 3:15). Now, we as God’s children, have been given the name Abba to annunciate in our darkest and brightest days with everlasting hope,  “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Once Upon a Time

January 26, 2021
By Dr. Laws Rushing

Once Upon a Time

“Once upon a time” is a familiar opening to many children’s stories. We may be tempted to dismiss fairytales and fables away to the dustbin of irrelevance in our modern age of megabytes and malware. But maybe, these stories explain more of who we are and what we are missing than can be imagined at first glance. Children’s hearts and minds need to be nurtured by the imaginative world of story and fantasy. 

The true hero is very elusive in our adult world with spiritually anemic athletes, political posers, and stunt doubles. 

C. S. Lewis once observed, "Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage." Children need to hear the stories of yore and be called to lives of courage, virtue, and true love in a world of malevolent chaos.

There are monsters. Evil does exist and children need to be warned through the allegories and parables. The old witch, dragon and goblin disguise and present themselves with a gift of forbidden fruit or tempting cake. The scriptures emphasize that, “Satan is transformed into an angel of light.” There will be battles. Life throws difficulty and duplicity early on. Children need to know that the battle can be won and not through mere power but virtue. G. K. Chesterton once wrote, “Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” 

There is magic. Life is filled with beauty, mystery and should inspire us to awe, wonder and enchantment. Have you ever been struck by the majesty of the stars, relentless spirit of the wave, or the tenderness of a mother’s love? The fairytales of old magnify the mystery of life and remind us of how truly special every moment really is. The poet Yeats remarked, “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” The grandeur and mystery only deepen into the mind of God. The Scriptures substantiate, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!”

We need heroes. Children must be inspired to live according to a different code. Brave knights of the past practiced the rules of chivalry. It was about such forgotten virtues of honesty, loyalty, honor, and bravery. The Bible says, “Be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.” These stories can galvanize the hearts of children accept the challenge of life with beneficence and courage. So, remember Jack and the Beanstalk, The Three Little Pigs, Pinocchio, Aesop’s Fables, Narnia, The Hobbit, and King Arthur. “Once upon a time” can begin again by simply opening a book to your child’s delight and spiritual wellbeing.

 




 

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Potemkin village

January 22, 2021
By Dr. Laws Rushing

Potemkin Village

When a guy is smitten with a girl; He will do almost anything to impress her. Such was the case with Grigory Potyomkin. He was an 18th century nobleman trying to impress Catherine the Great as she toured the Russian Empire. As the legend goes, Grigory constructed fake towns in the distance to show how well the country was doing despite the abject poverty. It would be like the prop towns used in the movies for old westerns. These facades became known as Potemkin villages and have become synonymous with self-interested deception. 

We have been called to authentic lives which places the emphasis on the real and not merely appearance. I am mindful of the motto of Trevecca, where I completed my doctorate which is Esse quam videri (To be, rather to seem). Jesus was forthright in his focus on the genuine practice of faith which is rooted in the heart of man. The Sermon the Mount is absolutely concerned with internal realities as opposed to the external. The words of Christ shine light into the deepest recesses of our hearts and minds and challenges us to observe the inner religion.

There can be hindrances to our spiritual pursuit of genuineness which we must be conscious:

Bias: We all can be guilty of judging a situation before having all the pertinent facts which makes for an ingenuine and dishonest mindset. Have you ever considered how much you really do not know about anything or anyone? If knowledge were an ocean, we might have a drop of actual knowledge. We should be incredibly careful in not assuming things that are beyond our reach or experience. Jesus warns, “For what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you” (Matt. 7:2).

Fear: This natural reaction can make us blind to the truth. Fear is a primal emotion and protectant in dangerous circumstances but has been expanded in the imagination of man to precipitate worry, anxiety and even hate. Jesus reminds us of the goodness of God and not live in the shadow of consternation. (Matt. 6:25,26) “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” 

Pride: One of the perennial dangers going all the way back to the garden is a false sense of self with egotism. Pride is artificial and delusional. CS Lewis sternly alerts, “The vice I am talking of is Pride or Self-Conceit: and the virtue opposite to it, in Christian morals, is called Humility...According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere flea bites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”

Living authentic lives can be challenging but we must resist the urge of building Potemkin villages through bias, fear and pride. (Prov. 11:3) “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.”


 

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Fast Forward

January 14, 2021
By Dr. Laws Rushing

Fast Forward
 

The present is not just influenced by the past but by the future. The founders of RCA had a blazing vision of the future that has been largely realized today. It came with many victories and some defeats but a pioneering spirit propelled this school forward to success! The best way to honor our rich 20-year history is to not lose sight of the vision forward! The future can be a daunting endeavor because of the unknown before us. Here are a few statements, as we look forward to the next decade.
 

“I do”
 

This little wedding declaration is extremely helpful when considering the future. I can think of no greater phrase looking forward with determined trust in another. We must declare our commitment to God now because this will be our greatest guide in the seasons that lay ahead. We devote this school into the covenantal trust of Almighty God. It is within this assurance that we continually seek His will for RCA through prayer and reliance on His word. The overwhelming future becomes very manageable when securely placed in our Sovereign God! Let us continue to heed the words of (Proverbs 3:5,6), “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
 

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
 

The phrase doesn’t consist of the best grammatical usage but profound nonetheless. RCA has been gifted with some great traditions and policies. There can be a temptation to change things for change's sake and to give the illusion of forward thinking when in reality, we are moving away from what is actually working efficiently. As we move forward, let’s strive to work on the things that really need to be improved and not try and reinvent the wheel at every turn to our own peril.

“Carpe Diem”
 

This Latin phrase which means “seize the day” was popularized by the movie Dead Poets Society. We are at a pivotal point and now have an extraordinary opportunity to make an even bigger impact on the lives of so many students. Our vision must be one which honors the greatness of God and the commission that we have been given. Let us resolve to change the world through Christian education, one student at a time. Let us seek to fully educate our students through discipleship to Christ, academic excellence, and character formation in a loving community.

We have created a 5-year plan in conjunction with our accreditation process that focuses on several areas from financial stewardship to academic improvement. We plan on streamlining our enrollment process to include continuous enrollment which simplifies the process for our families and requires less paperwork. We are looking to improve our curriculum and introduce elements of classical education into our program of study to give broader depth and analytical skills to students. There are many great things on the horizon for RCA which means an even brighter future for our students!

Click here to read the 20th anniversary edition of The Vision Newsletter
 

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Reflection & Anticipation

January 07, 2021
By Daniel Eldridge

Reflection and Anticipation

God wants us to remember.  I suppose it is because He knows that our nature is to be somewhat narrowly focused.  We see everything in terms of the “now” – in terms of this moment.  Things were always like they are now.  History began when we were born.  The past is past, and we need to focus on the future.  To have this mindset is to miss out on so many blessings.  It is a blessing to remember.

Remembering accomplishes a lot of things.  It gives us perspective and humility.  It helps us appreciate the gifts we have been given and the ones who have given them.  It builds our faith and our character, and it reminds us of the true nature of life and of God.  Think back through scripture.  Over and over again, God commands His people to remember, and He gives them special gifts to help them.  Whether it was a rainbow, a special feast to commemorate a great miracle, a stack of stones from the Jordan River, or a single standing stone on the battlefield, God gave His people markers to help them remember.  To this day, part of the richness of the Jewish culture is their diligence in observing traditions, feasts, and holidays that originated in Biblical times.  Jesus, Himself, specifically commanded Christians to remember Him through the practice of the Lord’s Supper.  It is through the long, retrospective view of history that the hand of God is most easily seen.  We may not recognize God’s work in our lives today; we can be too close to it.  Looking back at yesterday, however, provides perspective.  We see the path more clearly, and His direction and influence on our circumstances become more obvious.  Remembering where we started helps us realize where God has brought us.

This year marks a special milestone for RCA.  It was 20 years ago that the school opened its doors to 62 students in preschool through 6th grade.  The rustic campus was housed among a few portable classroom trailers, an old store, and even an old house.  In those early days, the school offered a before-school program, and some students arrived as early as 6:15 each morning.  At 7:45, teachers walked their classes along the covered, wooden sidewalks to the chapel area where everyone gathered for songs, lessons, and memory verses.  Lunch was served in each classroom from the grocery cart donated by a local grocery store.  The daily menu was from McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Whitt’s Barbeque, or some other local restaurant.  Recess was either on the dusty lot with the tire swing or, on rainy days, in the basement of the store building.  Many of the teachers taught combined classes: Mrs. Sain taught 1st and 2nd grades together, Mrs. Bolton taught 3rd and 4th grades together, and Mrs. Arndt taught 5th and 6th grades together.  At the end of each day, parents would drive down the old Southway Drive, round the cul-de-sac, and pick up their children from the sidewalk by Mrs. Bolton’s trailer.  Those days were both wonderful and difficult.  

Those first families exhibited a great deal of faith in this young school.  I sometimes marveled that they chose to take a chance on RCA.  I have thought a lot about that over the years, and I believe they were motivated by two things.  First, the energy, commitment, and dedication of our teachers in sharing God’s love to their students was so evident.  It was obvious that they had a heart for the ministry of Christian education and for the students and their families.  Parents can easily recognize a true servant’s heart, and they want their children learning from that kind of example each day.  Second, despite all the challenges of that rustic campus, the hope for a better future lay just up the hill.  The new 68,000 square foot building was under construction, and everyone could watch with excitement the progress that was being made each day.  That new building represented an unmistakable commitment to the future, and parents knew the school was in it for the long haul.  They were right.

I enjoy thinking about those days and how far we have come over the years.  I have so many good memories, and I love to reminisce.  As I look back, I can see so many different ways in which God blessed and provided for the school.  I believe scripture teaches us, however, that while God does want us to remember, His point in that is not just for the sake of nostalgia.  God asks His people to remember the past, so that they are better equipped to impact their future.  We talk in terms of “building” our faith and of cultivating spiritual “growth”.  Rest is scriptural; idleness is not.  As I think about how far God has brought RCA, I believe that only shows how He has been equipping us for even greater things in the future.  After 20 years, we have not arrived.  We are only beginning.

The past year-and-a-half has been difficult for the school.  Like every organization or church or family, there are those pivotal moments that cause us to reassess and re-evaluate things.  Those times can be painful, but also very beneficial in the long run.  I believe we have now emerged stronger and more focused, and I could not be more optimistic about the future of RCA.  I am thankful that God brought us the right leader in Dr. Rushing.  As I have gotten to know him over the past several months, I have seen that he truly has a servant heart.  As we collectively look toward the future, let us look again to what lay up on the hill.  An exciting future, firmly committed to building character, changing lives, and impacting the future.  If looking back to remember the past can teach us anything, it is that God has great things in mind for the future of RCA!

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”   -- Philippians 1:6

Written By: Daniel Eldridge, RCA Board Chairman

Click here to read the 20th Anniversary edition of The Vision Newsletter
 

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Jesus, Light of the World

December 10, 2020
By Dr. Laws Rushing

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, 'I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'” ~ John 8:12

Can you imagine how dark this world would be if Jesus had not been born? Dr. James Allen Francis spoke of the paradoxical and powerful influence of Jesus:

He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a home. He didn’t go to college. He never visited a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where He was born. He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself. He was only thirty-three when the tide of public opinion turned against Him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While He was dying, his executioners gambled for His garments, the only property He had on earth. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave, through the pity of a friend. Nineteen centuries have come and gone and today He is the central figure of the human race. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that one solitary life.

The solitary life of Christ is the greatest light among all the Christmas bulbs. Christ is the light of the world! Have you ever considered all the good that has resulted from the teaching of Christ? Christ brought a new consciousness to humanity! Many earthly blessings developed as a result of Christianity such as the modern hospital, orphanages, care for the poor, democracy and science itself! This is not to mention the most important thing, eternal hope!

This blog article is an excerpt from The Weary World Rejoices, a 27-Day Christmas Devotional Journey, written by Dr. Laws Rushing II. Click here to download the ebook.

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Jesus, Light of the World

December 10, 2020
By Dr. Laws Rushing

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, 'I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'” ~ John 8:12

Can you imagine how dark this world would be if Jesus had not been born? Dr. James Allen Francis spoke of the paradoxical and powerful influence of Jesus:

He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a home. He didn’t go to college. He never visited a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where He was born. He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself. He was only thirty-three when the tide of public opinion turned against Him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While He was dying, his executioners gambled for His garments, the only property He had on earth. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave, through the pity of a friend. Nineteen centuries have come and gone and today He is the central figure of the human race. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that one solitary life.

The solitary life of Christ is the greatest light among all the Christmas bulbs. Christ is the light of the world! Have you ever considered all the good that has resulted from the teaching of Christ? Christ brought a new consciousness to humanity! Many earthly blessings developed as a result of Christianity such as the modern hospital, orphanages, care for the poor, democracy and science itself! This is not to mention the most important thing, eternal hope!

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Immanuel

December 03, 2020
By Dr. Laws Rushing

“His name shall be called Immanuel.” ~ Matthew 1:23

The loneliness of sin has befallen our world. It has created an eternal chasm between God and humanity. The Gospel of Matthew echoes the words of the prophet Isaiah desiring Immanuel, “God with us.” The patriarchs of the distant past knew his presence, prophets saw visions and heard His voice but now was the time of God’s visitation. Jesus drew near to the city of Jerusalem weeping and said that judgement was imminent “because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

  • Immanuel, there is healing. “And he went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people” (Matthew 4:23).
  • Immanuel, there is forgiveness. “And he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven” (Luke 7:48).
  • Immanuel, there is rest. “ Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
  • Immanuel, there is love. “ By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

Immanuel, God and humanity are finally united in the One named, Jesus.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel
O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
And drive away the shades of night
And pierce the clouds and bring us light!
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,

This blog post is an excerpt from The Weary World Rejoices, a Christmas devotional ebook written by Dr. Rushing.
Download the ebook here.

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Thanksgiving Meal

November 17, 2020
By Dr. Laws Rushing

“O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever”
(Psalms 107:1)

God’s grace is inescapable. The very air you breathe, the tender hug of a mother, or even the taste of turkey are the results of God’s goodness and will. His lovingkindness prevails even beyond humanity’s indifference and disobedience. Jesus preaches, “He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” God’s goodness is immutable as His nature, word, and eternal will.

God raised the stakes of grace with Christ! The Apostle Paul declares, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing.” All spiritual blessings reside in the begotten of God who gives not just life but spiritual abundance. Our thanksgiving begins in an unabandoned acceptance and recognition of His love in Christ.

Our assurance and thanksgiving is articulated in the new covenant found in Christ. It is described in the instituting of the Lord's Supper: “And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ And likewise the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.’” (Luke 22:19-20). 

The Greek word for “given thanks” is eucharisteo. It has been transliterated to Eucharist in English. The Lord's Supper, Communion or Eucharist is a perpetual thanksgiving meal that is fulfilled in what was lost in eating the forbidden fruit. Let the goodness of God not just fill you on this holiday but with the partaking of the bread of life in the Lord's Supper called Thanksgiving. 
 

Posted in Biblical Worldview

A Veteran's Prayer

November 12, 2020
By Dr. Laws Rushing

Our Father in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name,
We are grateful for the prosperous and free land in which we live,
Today, we pray and remember the veterans,
Those who have secured our right to this prayer,
To assemble peaceably, 
To live safely and freely.
We remember those who valiantly fought,
By sea, air and land.
The unknown soldier who our families know as Father, mother, son, daughter, and friend.
We pray that not only will we honor our veterans by word but in deed.
We promise to remain committed to each other as a nation,
And as a nation among nations,
You have endowed us with inalienable rights,
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,
Inviolable to man and tyrant,
Image bearers of you.
We honor you, Oh Lord, by honoring our veterans,
Those who have given of their days, nights and very lives,
So that we might live as others have only dreamed,
We see their starlight,
And are guided by their courageous hearts,
Into the morning sun of freedom and favor.
Bless our veterans, as they have blessed us.
In Jesus name,
Amen


 

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Babylonian Blues

November 06, 2020
By Dr. Laws Rushing

Nebuchadnezzar knew power only a few men have ever known in history. His vast empire extended over many lands and people. His reign was renowned for the opulence and grandeur of the Hanging Gardens, a gift to his wife, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The monarch was brutal as he was seemingly romantic. Jeremiah records that Nebuchadnezzar had Zedekiah’s sons murdered right before him. He then put Zedekiah’s eyes out so that the last thing he saw was his sons perishing. He imprisoned Zedekiah until his eventual death. The armies of the emperor destroyed Jerusalem and Solomon’s temple and many Jews were taken into captivity for decades

The Scriptures emphatically say, “the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever he wishes” (Proverbs. 21:1)

The proud and powerful king began to encounter the true living God through the Jewish people, he had conquered. The book of Daniel chronicles his dealings with the three Hebrew boys that wouldn’t bend, bow, or burn. The King dreamed prophetically about the futility of the kingdoms of men and that one day God’s sovereignty would be known with the coming Messiah. “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed” (Daniel 2:44). 

The presumptuous king said of himself, “Is this not Babylon the Great that I myself have built for the royal house by my own strength and might and for the glory of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30). Nebuchadnezzar was brought to madness for seven years and ate in the field like an ox. He finally came to the realization of the sovereignty of Almighty God after this humiliating period. Sometimes, we can become disheartened by the powers and hubris of this world. It can seem that our world is in the hands of people beyond the reach of God. Nebuchadnezzar reminds us that there is only One, who is entirely in control. Nebuchadnezzar’s own “heart was in the hand of the Lord.” Hear the words of King Nebuchadnezzar, whose madness humbled him to see clearly,

“At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing; and he does according to his will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What doest thou?’ At the same time my reason returned to me; and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven; for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to abase.”  (Daniel 4:34-37).


 

Posted in Biblical Worldview

The Miracle of Faith

October 29, 2020
By Dr. Laws Rushing

The profound hymn by Horatio Spafford says, “Lord, haste the day when faith shall be sight.” The song reveals the longing in each of us for a resolution to the vast unknown and enigma of our existence. Life is uneasy, disturbing, difficult, alarming and conflicting. C.S. Lewis acutely observed, 

“It is a profound mistake to imagine that Christianity ever intended to dissipate the bewilderment and even the terror, the sense of our own nothingness, which comes upon us when we think about the nature of things. It comes to intensify them. Without such sensations there is no religion. Many a man, brought up in the glib profession of some shallow form of Christianity, who comes through reading Astronomy to realize for the first time how majestically indifferent most reality is to man, and who perhaps abandons his religion on that account, may at that moment be having his first genuinely religious experience. . . . Christianity does not involve the belief that all things were made for man.”

It is in this present milieu of mystery that God has ordained the miracle of faith in our lives. One of the comforting things about the Scriptures is that the disciples were in search of this faith despite being witnesses to the greatest wonders ever known. The familiar refrain, “Oh ye of little faith” was common to their ears despite their eyes beholding the majestic healings of the sick, Christ’s power over nature itself, and the dead risen. “Increase our faith” was the disciples’ request because the world was filled with fear and anxiety for them too.

 Faith is the awareness of God. It does not come without questions, struggles or doubts. Christ reveals that our weak faith holds great potentiality. Faith is a strong concentrate and like that of a mustard seed that unlocks the greatest of growth. Faith is not a leap in the dark but into the light. Once we begin to be led by the Spirit, we begin to see beyond the horizon. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” 

Our faith is a part of the grand miracle of Christ Himself. The Risen Lord exclaimed, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Paul emphasized that “we have known Christ by the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.” The miracle of faith is happening in you. It is by and through faith that we are saved (Eph. 2:8)(Heb. 11:6).  It is in our faith that we find even more to believe! Faith moves the mountain, knocks at midnight, loves the enemy, turns the cheek, crucifies the self and lives. The miracle of faith gives life to the impossible everyday which makes me a firm believer.


 

Posted in Biblical Worldview

What is Social Media Saying about Us?

October 22, 2020
By Dr. Laws Rushing

“What Social Media is Saying About Us”

The new iPhone 12 was just unveiled boasting supersonic speed and coolness. The smartphone with Apple began a veritable revolution just over a decade ago with modern pied piper and genius Steve Jobs opening the door to the world’s biggest library or Pandora’s Box. It ushered in a new era of consciousness as did the printing press and internet. It is an amazing human accomplishment that billions of people now hold a piece of technology with more computing power than NASA during the moon landings. Those NASA computers cost 3.5 million dollars and were the size of a car. The smartphone created a new phenomenon of social media. We are now connected through a maze of pictures, websites, videos and browsing habits with “friends” to whom we share. These share items say a lot about who we are and who we are becoming.

The “selfie” hit the mainstream a few years ago when our favorite subject for the camera became ourselves with various filters to make us look neat, cool, old, young, daring, smart, or just clueless. Is the selfie indicative of a spiritual condition? It’s not that a “selfie” is a sin or even shallow but it can be a metaphor for a deeper issue within the human heart. The spiritual journey of faith is the surrender of the self. Christ was explicit in His teaching on living in the selflessness of the cross (Matt. 16:23-25).

Another contribution of social media to our culture is the meme. A meme is an illustration with a picture, video and some sort of statement that is humorous or “factual.” We see many of them as benign and good for a momentary chuckle. There are many memes that are either insulting, non-factual or trying to solve a difficult social issue with another trifling comment. Hopefully, the rule still applies that we need to be kind, truthful and thoughtful on social media as in our personal conversations.

“Trolls” appeared on social media after we seemingly vanquished them to medieval times and bridges. A troll is someone that purposely provokes and writes incendiary things for their own amusement and fun. We have reached the zenith of modernity with the resurgence of such fictitious creatures that run around prodding us into winded arguments with no finish lines to their own amusement and our befuddlement. 

We also have the “cancel culture.” This is the public shaming and withdrawing of our society on someone who has made a mistake even after contrition and apologies. I remember a time when we spoke of second chances and comebacks as a good thing in our country. This is not commonplace anymore. I think Jesus spoke of it as forgiveness. We all need forgiveness. Yes, people can lose their credibility and trust in the public square, but we must remember that these folks bear the image of God. We are forgiven as we forgive others. 

Social media shines a light on many great things but there is also a darkness we can lose ourselves and our testimony. We lose when we love our politics more than people, post statements with partial truths, argue with people as mere sport, shame and cancel people without the benefit of a doubt and make ourselves the center of the universe, even if, in our own mind. 

Social media is really saying that we need a Savior. He was the opposite of all those extremes mentioned. Jesus was selfless, truthful, profound, noble, and forgiveness personified. Those are things worth posting. Please share Jesus.

Posted in Biblical Worldview
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Homecoming

October 15, 2020
By Dr. Laws Rushing

Artists have a way of articulating the most complex of feelings and subjects. Maybe this is why we are so drawn to the arts because of the visceral communication that penetrates the heart and mind. My cousin Danny Dill was a songwriter in Nashville’s coming of age era and wrote many notable songs including “Long Black Veil” and “Detroit City.” The latter song tells the common story of a country boy that moves to Detroit City and builds cars but pines for home. The chorus is simply, “I wanna go home, I wanna go home, Oh how I wanna go home.” 

My Father was a talented singer and began to dream about Nashville and maybe sharing in the success of his first cousin. Danny Dill was on the Grand Ole’ Opry and even had a radio show right before legendary Hank Williams in his early days. My father went to Nashville to inquire of his potential success and tracked down his esteemed songwriter cousin. He eventually found him in the bar and Danny told my father, “Go home and love your family.”

I wonder what might have happened if the advice would have been different. My cousin struggled in his domestic life but enjoyed a storied career that has earned him a place in the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Maybe, there is something to going home. We are inviting all of our alumni back to RCA this week to celebrate their success and lives. What does it mean to go home?

Home is ultimately more than a place but a relationship. I think of all the houses that Stacey and I have lived in as family. I would only choose the house that has them because they are my home. The familiar story of the Prodigal son that journeys to a “far country” returns home and the story emphasizes the person rather than the place. The son thinks, “I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.” 

Home is about the people we love and our heavenly Father. We are so excited to have many of our students returning home to Riverside this week. The songwriter had it right when he penned, “I wanna go home.” Welcome home. We love you.

Posted in Biblical Worldview
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Lord of the Harvest

October 02, 2020
By Dr. Laws Rushing

There is something magical in the changing of the seasons. We see the grand orchestration of God’s providential hand in the natural order, all around us. The Scriptures speak of God not leaving “Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” Nature’s transitions are a witness to God’s presence and goodness. God is sovereign over time itself, as His creation. (Daniel 2:21) “He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.” 

Timing is everything. There is a rhythm to nature and to our very lives that we are bound. It is within these seasons that we have our own fluorescent beauty and fulfillment. The Autumn foliage and crisp air bring new activities and harvests, in the likeness of life itself. The existential poet Camus commented, “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” We must live and content ourselves in the moment and time that we find ourselves. The familiar trope of Ecclesiastes reminds us that, “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted.”

The true harvest of our lives is sometimes difficult to quantify or articulate. We have “casted our bread on the waters” to be received in the places unseen or hardly known. Thoreau captures this sentiment by saying, “The true harvest of my life is intangible - a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched.” We may not see the returns of every seed planted but God is faithful in His gleaning “filling our hearts with food and gladness.” The Father assures us that His word does not “return void.”

We must remember to never give up. “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” It is also imperative that we pray for fellow workers in the Kingdom of God. We stand on the precipice of eternity in every moment of time. Jesus reminds us that the harvest fields are ready for fellow laborers.  (Matthew 9:37,38) “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." He is the Lord of the harvest and I can trust Him in this season too.

Posted in Biblical Worldview
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The Heart of Parenting

September 25, 2020
By Dr. Laws Rushing

The family is the first school, church, and state. It is a holy institution created by God to imbue blessing, happiness, love, education, and life eternal into her members. The Scriptures are abounding in the importance of faithful marriages, parental instruction, and obedient children. RCA is committed to the success of your homelife.  It is our prayer that we can support and encourage all of our families as you grow in the “grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

All families are unique. We recognize that even in our small community that there is a diversity of family make-ups with single mothers or fathers, blended families and intergenerational homes. We all come from different backgrounds but have the same central requisites as human beings. The psychologist Abraham Maslow described these needs in his famed hierarchy of needs beginning with the physiological, psychological and self-actualization. Many of these hierarchies have spiritual implications and connotations.

Strong marriages are the foundation to the home. Children are blessed by the union of a mother and father unconditionally committed to one another. Jesus speaks of the inviolability of marriage and ushers into humanity the highest view of matrimony ever known (Matthew 19:1-9, Mark 10:6-9, Matthew 5:32). One of the greatest things we can do for our children is to love our spouse and provide a stable environment for flourishment.

Homes are the location where children learn authority. Parental authority is the testing ground for school and society. The Apostle Paul reminds us of the Ten Commandments by commanding, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.” We also learn in the family emotional intelligence and the rules to relationships. Someone once humorously said, “that family members know how to push our buttons because they are the ones who installed them.”

We are offering a new program through RCA Family Services to enable, equip, and enrich our families spiritually through educational resources for parents. Please sign up for our new program, “The Heart of Parenting” in the month of October. We look forward to offering more support and programming through our partners in ministry and community.

Home and family can be the sweetest place on earth and all of us yearn for a beautiful homelife. The poet Maya Angelou said, “I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.” We hope RCA can be that home for all of our families as we work together.

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Inner Weather

September 18, 2020
By Dr. Laws Rushing

The biggest question of the night, “Is it going to rain?” The dark clouds had amassed in the sky over the sounds of the bluegrass band performing the classic John Hartford song, “Gentle on My Mind.” The grill was smoking, ice cream machine idling, and people smiling and chatting. A bolt of lightning picked up the tempo of the band and drops began to fall. The drops turned quickly into a gully-washer, deluge. Everyone made for cover. And….. Just like that and all my planning was as soggy as my shoes and head.

The weather, like many other occasions, did not cooperate with the plans of man. It is a grand metaphor for all the things beyond our control. It forces our choices into another place or domain of emotion and thinking. So, the question comes to each of us, How is your inner weather? There is a place so remote from the rain that the sunshine can live on. It resides in our attitudes and responses to even the things beyond our control.

The great psychologist Carl Jung would tell the story of an old dried-up, Chinese rainmaker; who came to a town during a drought and made it snow! 

“The only thing he asked for was a quiet little house somewhere, and there he locked himself in for three days. On the fourth day clouds gathered and there was a great snowstorm at the time of the year when no snow was expected, an unusual amount, and the town was so full of rumors about the wonderful rainmaker that Wilhelm went to him to ask the man how he did it. In true European fashion he said: “They call you the rainmaker, will you tell me how you made the snow?” And the little Chinese man said: “I did not make the snow, I am not responsible.” “But what have you done these three days?” “Oh, I can explain that. I come from another country where things are in order. Here they are out of order, they are not as they should be by the ordinance of heaven. Therefore, the whole country is not in Tao, and I am also not in the natural order of things because I am in a disordered country. So I had to wait three days until I was back in Tao, and then naturally the rain came.”

The little story illustrates that our power lies in adjusting our inner weather and the interrelatedness to life. We might not be able to control the rain but our responses do have power in ourselves and others! The Scriptures speak of the ability to spiritually transcend our circumstances. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Not that I complain of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want. I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”

We also know the rainmaker! (James 5:17,18) “Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit.” The good Lord will always change the weather through prayer. It’s just sometimes, He wants to change us more than the crops! 

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Yes Sir

September 11, 2020
By Dr. Laws Rushing

“Yes sir or ma'am'' is a recurrent phrase that has strongly entered my daughter’s vocabulary since enrolling at Riverside Christian Academy. She has always been very polite, but we see the difference the school is making every day. This tradition of greeting goes all the way back to the 1200’s originating in the titles of sire and madam. It is a sign of respect and acknowledgement of those who are senior to you. It is so very nice to see that the mascot of knights is not the only thing chivalrous about the school. 

The Bible says, “give honor to whom honor is due.” The Scriptures also provide us instruction to give veneration to our elders. (Leviticus 19:32) “Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.” The Torah is very clear on the connection of respecting elders and revering God. It is a sign of reverence to God, when we respect our elders. Our culture seems obsessed with youth to the exclusion of our older generations. We do so at our own peril.

Our elders are a living history. They are an indispensable link to our past that is so easily forgotten. The philosopher George Santayana said,“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” It seems that we continue to make the mistake of Rehoboam, “But he rejected the counsel which the elders gave him, and consulted the young men” (I Kings 12:8) The elders had a firm understanding of history and what the moment called for whereas the young men were woefully ignorant. The Apostle Peter writes, “In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” ( I Peter 5:5).

I had the pleasure of hearing a senior minister speak on his 80th birthday in recent weeks. He recalled the story of Barzillai, who like him was eighty years old when he came before King David. Barzilla showed great courage and humility in desiring to serve the king in his old age and asked, “How long have I to live, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem?” Barzilla went on to request that he go “a little way across Jordan” but then allowed to return to his own city that he may be buried with his father and mother. King David honored his request and blessed him, and he returned ( II Samuel 19:31-39). King David honored the elder Barzillai and said, “Yes sir.”

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Pronouncement

September 04, 2020
By Dr. Laws Rushing

A Detroit mortician unzipped the body bag to begin the embalming process and found Timesha Beauchamp eyes open and breathing!! The twenty-year old was pronounced dead by a doctor in the emergency room after paramedics tried reviving her for 30 minutes in her home. This alarming story was published by the Associated Press this past week. Can you imagine the simultaneous relief and horror when loved ones were notified? We, also, are pronounced dead by the guilt of our sinfulness. Paul characterizes our spiritual condition as, “dead in trespasses and sins.” 

Our great physician did not make the pronouncement of our death remotely but rather stepped into our flesh and sinfulness to be the very cure in our malady. Jesus said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick, I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mark 2:17). One of the greatest distinguishing features to Christianity is the extent to which God goes Himself to save humanity. In Contrast, the world religions offer a “works based salvation.” It is fraught with man’s inability to attain the transcendent and moral perfection. The story of Jesus is God reaching down to man. “God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.”

Jesus came to give us spiritual life through His righteousness. The life of Jesus is without parallel or equivalence. Jesus not only lived a perfectly moral life but one which fulfilled all the requirements of the law (Matthew 5:17,18; John 5:39-47). The haunting words of Jesus from the cross, “It is finished” is a summary of His atoning life work completed on Calvary in His death. The Gospel is the “righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith.” Jesus came to give us eternal life through His resurrection. (I Peter 1:3) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.

Our response to the righteousness and resurrection of Jesus Christ is repentance. Repentance is a turning away from our sinfulness to His light and life. Peter proclaimed, “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” On Pentecost, “Repent and be baptized.” (Acts. 3:18; Acts 2:38). The great Physician doesn’t pronounce death but breathes life into us through the Holy Spirit (Genesis 2:7, John 20:22, Romans 8:11). 

Receive His care today!

Posted in Biblical Worldview

Mysterious Safe

August 28, 2020
By Dr. Laws Rushing

There was an interesting story in the news this week. It was about a giant safe suddenly appearing in a farmer’s field. There was a note attached saying, “If you can open this, you can have what’s inside.” There were various attempts at “cracking the safe” but all were unsuccessful. The farmer has since removed the safe and it is now in a secret place. My mind ventured to the parable of Jesus concerning the hidden treasure in the field, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys the field” (Matthew 13:44). 

The parable of Christ illustrates an important lesson in life which is universal. We all make an exchange in this life. This is a profound spiritual truth. The greatest economy of life isn’t money but time and attention. We trade our moments for things which are necessary like work and matters of priority. Christ always challenges us in our list of priorities. Jesus reveals that the kingdom of God is of the greatest value. It is a “treasure hidden in the field.” It is worth the burden of exchange which is everything and even “for joy.” 

I wonder what’s in that uncrackable safe found in the farmer’s field? I know what the treasure of the kingdom is! It is eternal life and that is knowing the Father through Jesus. (John 17:3) “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” So, you don’t have to wait for the safe to be cracked. Eternal life is opened in Christ today.

Nobody could crack that mysterious safe in the field. The contents were protected from whomever. Yet, There is a place of trust more remarkable and protected. It isn’t a safe but a Savior. (I Corinthians 1:9) “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” We all feel the uncertainty of our time. Maybe, an uncrackable safe captures our imagination and the mystery therein. The real treasure and safe, though, can be found in the field of the Savior.

Posted in Biblical Worldview
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Surely this Great Nation is a Wise and Understanding People

August 21, 2020
By Dr. Laws Rushing

“Surely This Great Nation is a Wise and Understanding People”
 

A scientist once lamented, “We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom.” We have come to the point in human history where knowledge has flourished to our very fingertips, as we google the answer to who said that phrase. Yet, for all of our advancement, we find ourselves lacking. The answers to the political fractures, abject poverty, mindless racism, pandemic disease and bloody war still haunt the global landscape while we boast our modernity and shallow fashions.

Wisdom is in high demand and short supply. Wisdom is differentiated from knowledge, data and information because it occupies a moral capacity and situational awareness. One definition of wisdom is “the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment.” We may know a lot of facts but are ignorant as to how to weigh importance and incorporate into good decisions called wisdom. 

Wisdom begins with our knowledge of God. If we know everything but God then our comprehension is indeed darkened. (Proverbs 1:7) “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” It is within the knowledge of God that our values are best informed. Some of our greatest minds achieved devastating calamity because they were enabled by intelligence coupled with depravity. Ted Kaczynski  (better known as the unabomber) was reported to have an IQ of 167. Many of the Nazi leaders tried at Nuremburg scored on the genius level but were perpetratiors of the greatest acts of inhumanity ever witnessed.

 (Proverbs 2:6) “For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.”

Christ is our wisdom because He is the fulfillment of God’s divine purposes for humanity. “He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (I Corinthians 1:30). We find wisdom through the instruction of parents and elders (Proverbs 13:1), through prayer (James 1:5), through the Word of God (Psalms 19:7). 

May we open our hearts and minds to the wisdom of God so that we may be described as people who kept the covenant in (Deuteronomy 4:6) “Keep them and do them; for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”

Posted in Biblical Worldview
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The Seriousness of Play

August 14, 2020
By Dr. Laws Rushing

The scriptures speak of the return of God’s people to Judah after exile and portray a beautiful picture including, “The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets” (Zechariah 8: 5). What an enchanting verse that expresses a truth about children that we all know and cherish. Play is essential in the development of children. It reveals much about a person and teaches tremendous things. 

1. Imagination: Thinking isn’t always about being rational. Yes, we love to enhance logical sequences and abstraction but imagination is a special endowment of the brain and is important to problem solving. Play encourages this form of thinking that creates and sees beyond our own eyes.

2. Physical health: Children’s bodies and minds work together and are interconnected. Healthy activity promotes brain health and also increases dexterity. 

3. Intellect: Play also presents problems to solve for children and energizes conversations. Children also role-play and mimic adults with situations they encounter by playing house, church or school.

4. Interpersonal and emotional health: It is vital for children to learn about others’ feelings and how to restrain their own impulses if inappropriate or hurtful. Play presents these opportunities for such growth.

5. Fairness: There are rules to how we engage each other. Games, life, school, and sport have rules for fairness and equity. Play promotes fairness which is the beginning to the graver ideas of  justice and mercy.

So, grab a Barbie, ball, or stick and find a way to connect to a child at play. You might learn something. As the old saying goes, “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than a year of conversation.”

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What Do We Mean by Christian Education?

August 03, 2020
By Dr. Laws Rushing
Bible, Christian Education

What Do we Mean by Christian Education?
 

The great G. K. Chesterton once said, “Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.” No matter where a child is going to school; there is a spiritual dimension to that education. It may not always be deliberate or obvious to the students or parents but curriculum, environment and teachers are always touching on subjects encompassing values, morality and ethics.
 
Christian education is when a school is intentionally committed to the aspiration of Christian values. These values are expressed holistically in beliefs, behaviors, habits, goals, and relationships. The primary reason for this approach in education is because Christianity is true.  It offers answers to the most fundamental questions of humanity. 

The questions of origin, meaning, morality and destiny are all interwoven into a single fabric of truth. All of these considerations affect each other in profound ways and are interrelated. If there is no God (origin) then meaning, morality and destiny look very different from Christianity. The recognition of God brings deeper meaning to life, foundation to morality and hope for eternity. Christianity is the very touchstone of the human soul.

We believe that students established in these basic truths will flourish because of the power therein. Jesus says, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” The truth has the power to liberate our hearts and minds. The truth stands independent of our acceptance or perception, but we always benefit upon its appreciation and application.

Three things we affirm at RCA with education:

1. Christ:
Jesus Christ is the perfect revelation of God to man. Christ is the eternal Word (Jn. 1:1). He left us His example and teachings faithfully preserved in the New Testament which began in the story of primeval man and Israel. We seek first His Kingdom and righteousness (Matt. 6:33).

2. Character:
God purifies our hearts and souls through the blood of Christ and the sanctification of the Spirit (Eph. 1: 7-13). It is through instruction and experience that we are perfected within community and relationships. 

3. Academic Excellence:
God desires for us to have lives of excellence and achievement. We believe that loving God with all of our mind entails us using our intellect for that purpose and our vocation (Matt. 22:37). 

Christian education is the formation of the whole person with Christ as the center. Students thrive as a result of being oriented to this aspiration and see the world more completely. C. S. Lewis once observed, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

Posted in Biblical Worldview
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