CARM Newsletter 01-08-04

Jan. 7, 2004

I must apologize for not writing a newsletter in the past few weeks. I've become quite busy and kept putting it off.  Finally, I sat down and wrote one.

By the gracious donations of several people, CARM now has a new computer.  The old one was a bit slow with some of the programs used in doing research, answering emails, and writing, etc., so I asked for donations.  They came in!  Thanks to all of you who graciously gave to the CARM computer fund.  Because of it, CARM now has a 3.0 Ghz, 1 Gig Ram, system that makes working on CARM, copying CD's, doing speech recognition software, etc., so much easier.  Again, thank you very much.

Two of the main reasons I haven't written a newsletter in a few weeks (not counting the holidays) is because I have begun two new large projects, and they are very time-consuming:  First, I have begun research and writing for a new book.  It is aimed at Christians in late teens to early twenties who are in secular school.  72% of Christians raised in Christian homes lose their faith within two years of attending a secular college.  I want to stop that.  Therefore, I am writing a book that will deal with several subjects: atheism, evolution, philosophy, psychology, comparative religions, etc. It is written in dialogue format; that is, in a text chat kind of manner. In order to accomplish this time having to learn various aspects of the evolutionary theory, intelligent design, fossil record problems, molecular biology (on a very minor level), information theory, various philosophical camps, various psychological camps, and we've all of them around various questions and challenges made against Christians and Christianity in college.

Second, I am developing an online school for CARM. It will be tuition based (in order to help raise support for full-time ministry doing CARM) and will be designed in such a way that anyone who takes it will be taught the basics of Christian theology, apologetics, logic, and how to use the information to better explain and defend Christianity. I figure both projects will take around six months to a year to complete.

Doing the research and writing for these projects requires a great deal of mental energy. I am constantly reading and researching and I need two arrange all kinds of information (both for the book and for the online school) and such a way that it can be easily understood by those who have not studied it very well. This is a difficult task at times but it is something that I feel led to do.

That is why the newsletters have not been as frequent. My apologies for that. Nevertheless, I will attempt to get them out every other week.
Please pray for me, for my spiritual health, my safety and the safety of my family, and this web based ministry that has touched so many thousands of people.

 

Propitiation: Jesus is the propitiation for our sins. A propitiation is a sacrifice that turns away wrath. Jesus, on the cross, by dying for us, propitiated God the Father. In other words, this sacrifice removes the wrath of God from those who believe in trust in Jesus Christ and his sacrifice. 1 John 2:2 says, "and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world." Therefore, all who had trusted in Jesus and do not rely upon their own works to save them from the wrath of God will be counted under Christ's propitiation.

To what are you devoted?

It is a sad truth in our lives that we sometimes become more devoted to things other then God and His glory.  It is easy to do.  In the world, there are people who are devoted to movie stars. They admire them and elevate them to a status of extreme honor and adoration.  People are far too often devoted to sports teams, almost to the point of reference.  We become devoted to political parties, ideologies, causes, and even cars.  Devotion is all around us in the world.  Some of it is good and some of it is not.  Good examples of devotion can be found in the love of a mother for her children and of a father for his family.  Bad examples can be found in extreme devotion to cars, houses, appearance, money, and possessions.  It is in our nature to become obsessed with things.

Now, there is nothing wrong with being devoted to something -- unless that devotion becomes an obsession. If it does, it pushes out proper behavior and proper adoration of God.  This then becomes sinful.  There should be nothing that holds more devotion in our lives than the Lord.  Everything else, must follow far behind.

When you look at your own heart and look for what is most important to you, what you devote the most time to, what you find?  To what are you most devoted?  When I look inward, I become a bit uncomfortable.  Though there are things that require greater amounts of time than worship and adoration to God (i.e., work, sleep), what is most critical?  What is most important?  I find that sometimes, that the thing I feel most intensely devoted to isn't the Lord.

Yes, it is very easy to get out of sync regarding the Christian walk. It is easy, very easy, to become devoted to something so much, that it infringes on one's relationship with Christ.  When we realize that, we must take a step back, reassess what is most important to us, and once again look to the cross of Christ where His love and patience abound.

I'm reminded of a very important scripture. "If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself," (2 Tim. 2:13). And another, "What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?" (Rom. 3:3). And still, another, "God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord," (1 Cor. 1:9).

The priority of our devotion should always be God first. Notice the last verse above where it states that God desires we have fellowship with Jesus Christ. This fellowship is the Greek word "koinonia." It means "intimacy and communion." God wants this intimacy and this communion with us.  He wants our devotion to Him because it is only in this intimacy with the Lord Jesus that we can truly know what proper devotion really is and thereby experience the wonderful joy of the Lord's grace in a great way.

We need to look to the cross where we see the wonderful demonstration of God's loving devotion to us.  It is there that we see a perfect devotion, a perfect devotion combined with perfect love -- that brings glory to God.

Are you seeking God?  Are you devoting yourself to Him?

Memorization Verse
2 Cor. 11:3,
"But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ," (NASB).

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SUPPORT
If you think CARM is a worthwhile ministry, please seriously consider supporting it financially and prayerfully.  The goal is to contribute to that which expands the kingdom of God.  If you want to help CARM move towards full time status, please consider giving to this non-profit organization.  All donations are tax deductible. http://www.carm.org/goods/donations.htm.

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In Him,

Matt Slick, your missionary to the Internet.
Equipping the church to defend the faith in a secular world.

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