Monday, February 26, 2007
Guest Blogger: Should Christians attend a church?
People frequently ask me whether Christians should regularly attend a local church. Most believers who ask this question reference Hebrews 10:25, which tells us to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together.
The Greek word for "assembling" is "episunagoge," and it means to gather in one place. But significantly, the definition does not reference a formal church setting. Many ATI parents have told me that the benefit of gathering with other like-minded ATI families is richer than their local church life. Whether they gather at Knoxville, at a Regional Seminar, at a Basic Seminar, or just in their homes, these families are clearly following the Scriptural mandate.
More importantly, I believe we should give special emphasis to the second half of Heb. 10:25: "...but exhorting one another, and so much the more, as ye see the say approaching." It's clear from Scripture that God intends us to gather with other believers for the purpose of exhortation. But if exhortation is not taking place, Christians should flee.
Many families have experienced heartache by staying in a local church that exposes their young people to the dangers of peer influence, sensual music, and a live-for-myself theology.
The problem is that there are Christians who are comfortable as regular infantry, while some Christians are called to be Marines -- the elite of the elite. God has called us to accomplish Great Things for him, and if the local church is interfering with that vision, then there is no obligation to continue attending.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Bill Gothard thanks his critics
[Editor's Note: We promised to bring you Dr. Bill Gothard as a guest blogger on X-ATI Guy. Here is the first installment. Enjoy. ~X ]
Dear former ATIA students,
When I was 15, I dedicated my life to helping young people make wise decisions. I realizedthat God was asking for the utmost devotion, so I purposed to postpone marriage until I could accomplish the vision He had given me.
I began by working with inner-city gangs. The conflicts these young men had with their God-given authorites, and the Scriptural principles we applied to resolve these conflicts, eventually led to the Basic Seminar--attended by 2.6 million people.
Since those days I've poured my heart out to serve you and your family. We've shared many rich times. It grieves me to see so many formerly-vibrant ATI students walk away from the standard their parents have raised.
I want to discover why you rejected God and His Principles. I hope this can be the start of a long and productive conversation. So please send your comments and questions to Mr. X-er and we will seek God's wisdom together.
Dr. Bill Gothard
Guest Blogger: 7 Principles for Anna Nicole Smith
The death of Anna Nicole Smith has illustrated the tragic conflict that can arise when families allow bitterness to take root in their relationships. I believe the Seven Biblical Principles could have been used in Anna's life to make wise choices and avoid failure.
The Basic Life Principles
Anna Nicole should have understood the specific purposes for which God had created her. Sadly, she never learned true self-acceptance, choosing to radically modify her God-given body. Thanking God for her design would have helped Anna Nicole to avoid defrauding millions of men.
Anna Nicole rejected the responsibility God had given to her authorities, particularly her mother, Virgie. Because of this, Anna was unable to learn how God provides direction and protection through authority.
Anna Nicole is responsible to God for every thought, word, action and motive. Her lack of a clear conscience forced her to seek man's approval through morally defrauding actions.
Anna Nicole could have identified the blind spots in her life by learning from the hurts of others. The artificial pleasures she enjoyed on this earth were no replacement for Genuine Joy.
Rather than fighting for years in court to seize her husband's inheritance, Anna Nicole should have realized that everything she owns has been entrusted to her by God, and should have wisely used it for His purposes.
Because of the ground surrendered to Satan after years of immorality, Anna Nicole no longer possessed the desire and power to do what is right. Rather, she claimed the privilege to do what she wanted.
Many people said that all Anna Nicole wanted was to be loved. Anna Nicole struggled with a lack of Life Purpose because she never engrafted Scripture into her heart and mind. Scripture enables us to think God's thoughts and make wise decisions.
Until next time,
Dr. Bill Gothard