by Ross W. Graham
"Shoot those arrows into the ground," said the prophet to the king. That was a strange command that Elisha gave to Joash in 2 Kings 13:14-19. But the prophet was dying, and his godly influence on the Lord's wayward children in the northern kingdom would soon be removed. God was taking his faithful servant home, and faithless Joash would be left.
The king needed to understand what was at stake. He needed a message so clear that it could not be missed. "Take a bow and some arrows. Shoot one of those arrows out the east window." (It was from the east that Syria would attack Israel.) "That arrow represents victory over Israel's enemy, the Syrians, and you will defeat them at Aphek, and you must destroy them," said Elisha. And the prophet put his hands on the bow with Joash and helped him shoot. The message should have been clear. Read more
by Stephen D. Doe
Homosexuality is a hot-button issue in American society. The acceptance of homosexuality is part of many movies and television shows. Newspapers and politicians routinely endorse it as a normal expression of one's sexuality. "Coming out of the closet," or acknowledging one's homosexual orientation, is actually a badge of honor today.
One of the most frequently asserted claims is that homosexuality is primarily a matter of genetics. Although there is no hard scientific evidence for the existence of a "gay gene," it is commonly accepted that if someone is sexually attracted to persons of their own gender, they cannot help it, because sexual orientation is predetermined, like race or eye color. If people are reluctant to say that homosexuality is genetic, they will say that childhood abuse, parental failure, early seduction, or sexual stereotyping probably causes some people to identify themselves as homosexually oriented. Read more