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    Here at Dale Ridge you will find a loving, committed group of believers doing our best to follow in the footprints of Jesus Christ. We strive to deeply develop our relationship with God through study, fellowship, and service.


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Devotional Thoughts

What's In A Name

  The first step in sanitizing immoral behavior usually begins by giving it a new name. This allows its proponents an opportunity to redefine the activity without constant reference to the image created by the previous term. For example, the term fornication or "living in sin" usually referred to people who had sex outside of marriage or lived together before being married. As this type of behavior increased in our society, the way to describe it changed, and the more accommodating term "common-law" husband or wife became the way to refer to people in this situation.

  A more recent development has been the change in the way we describe homosexuals. This type of behavior was seen as sinful and so the word homosexual carried an implied judgement of that person. With time however this term continued to describe same-sex activity but lost its pejorative impact. Homosexuals became "Gays", and with the help of liberal media and politicians, redefined what being Gay meant. The supporters of this lifestyle mounted a decades long effort to cast their behavior in a positive light so that today it has become socially and legally unacceptable to associate homosexuality with immoral conduct. And all of this with a simple name change!

  Others have noticed the name change tactic and followed suit. Pedophiles, long considered the most detestable class of sexual perverts, have tried to legitimize their behavior by referring to it as "man-boy love". Most people reject their attempts at recasting their sexual cravings as some kind of love for children, but recent court cases have seen them lifting a page from the Gay playbook and arguing that since they were born with a natural sexual attraction for children, they should not be punished. They propose, in the same way that the Gay lobby argued before them, that since their sexual disposition was genetic it should be acceptable and tolerated even if not shared by the majority. This is also the main argument used to defend the transgendered lifestyle as well.

  Of course this leaves only one last line of sexual moral conduct not yet breached. We still call it incest but a recent article in USA TODAY reports that a teen aged girl is about to marry her biological father. She hadn't seen him since she was a child but the story quotes her as saying,"As soon as I met him I was immediately attracted to him." The report goes on to say that the couple plans to marry and have a large family. They, of course, don't refer to their coupling as incest… a far too uncomfortable term. The new and more enlightened way to describe their sexual immorality is to call it "genetic sexual attraction" or the more neutral sounding acronym, GNA. Already there are medical types explaining that only socially ingrained taboos restrict people from giving vent to natural feelings of attraction to people who are very much like themselves (meaning sexually attracted to members of their own family).

  The big delusion in all of this name change business is that people think that by changing the name of something or by forcing everyone else to call that thing by its new name they can actually change the thing itself. Let's face it, even if you call my cat a dog and get everybody in the world to call my cat a dog, my cat will not actually become a dog.

  I know that as Christians we often feel helpless in the face of this seemingly unstoppable march towards a total perversion of our culture by these purveyors of unbridled sexual immorality. Yes, we can protest, we can vote, we can become engaged in the political process. This is what good citizens do when they want to change the social agenda or moral course of a nation. They use the tools of democracy to fix what they feel is wrong with their society.

As Christians, however, I believe that we have an even more important objective in this battle. Our primary objective should be to stand firm in the face of the disastrous change that is taking place before us. Protesting in the street or voting for leaders who share our Christian values may be necessary to try and establish a better moral climate, but I will not feel defeated even if the laws of this land authorize every despicable and immoral act conceived by sinful man. I will be defeated only if I, myself, become corrupted by this world or remain silent in the face of such unrighteousness.

When Jesus comes He will judge the judges and all those who have succumbed to the evil one, but will He find us faithful? That's where the battle lies for us in this desperate and collapsing world.

  Those who love this world control the message that this world loves to hear. But we control the message that God wants the world to hear. Are we proclaiming it? They laugh and mock the possibility of being judged for their actions but in the end, calling sin for what it is…this is our responsibility. The world will always need a witness against its wickedness and will never love the one who brings it. Better to be rejected by the world because we speak God's truth to it than to be rejected by God because we desired peace with the world more than we desired peace with Him.

  One hundred years ago the thought that a leader of this nation would champion the right of a man to have sex with another man would have been unheard of. We are heading for a time where adults will abuse children and fathers will marry their daughters, all with the approval of the state and society. Impossible you think? Not if they can come up with the right sounding name.        Mike M.


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Subject: Study of Ephesians


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Bible Study:  6:00 PM (In person only)

Subject: (Discussion of previous Sunday sermon.)

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The OUTLET: A collection of writings by Ashby Camp

    These are things I have written through the years. Some are more detailed and academic than others. Many are notes from classes I have taught at church. If I failed to credit a source of wording or ideas it is because I did not cite the source in my notes and no longer remember it. Audio and video recordings of some of my classes are available by clicking the Audio & Video button.

I add to and revise the collection regularly. If anything here is helpful to you, I would be encouraged by knowing that. Drop me a note at theoutlet@cox.net. 

Check out Ashby Camp's lesson: "What I Wish Someone Had Told Me"