Secure Your Internet

We understand the difficulty of policing the internet when you have children in your home.  That is why Gateway recommends OpenDNS.  OpenDNS is not a software package.  It is a DNS that you point your router to which lets you easily block individual or entire categories of Web sites in just minutes. It's free and requires nothing to download or install.

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Principles of Childrearing

One of our problems with making disciples or raising children is a dependence on superficial morality rather than the gospel. I have noticed this tendency to major on moralism, particularly in curriculum designed for children. Now  there are two types of legalism. There is the old-fashioned type of legalism, based on a multitude of rules and strict standards. Then there is a kinder, gentler legalism, based on loving people and being kind. Now the second kind seems much nicer and more attractive than the first. And as far as the content of the standard, it is more biblical (Matthew 22:35-40; Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:13,14). But the problem is that we are sinners and cannot properly keep either standard (Romans 3:23; Jeremiah 17:9; Isaiah 64:6).

 

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The Use of Money

If there is a chief idol in modern-day America, it is money. This is not surprising, as it was also a key idol in New Testament times (Matthew 6:19-24; Colossians 3:5: 1 Timothy 6:10). But the futility of this was clear even in olden times. Solomon, as a man of incredible wealth, recognized in the end that its promises were futile (Ecclesiastes 2:4-11). Nonetheless, we make it our pursuit. Nor is this limited to rich people. Money can be as big a problem, if not more so, for those who do not have it as for those who do. In this case there is the added problem of whether we are willing to trust God to supply our needs (Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 4:11-13; 1 Timothy 6:6-8). But for those who do have considerable wealth, it soon becomes clear that there is no such thing as enough money (1 Timothy 6:17-19; Ecclesiastes 4:8; James 1:9-11). There is wisdom in the prayer that asks for neither poverty or riches (Proverbs 30:8,9).

 

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The Use of Money

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If there is a chief idol in modern-day America, it is money. This is not surprising, as it was also a key idol in New Testament times (Matthew 6:19-24; Colossians 3:5: 1 Timothy 6:10). But the futility of this was clear even in olden times. Solomon, as a man of incredible wealth, recognized in the end that its promises were futile (Ecclesiastes 2:4-11). Nonetheless, we make it our pursuit. Nor is this limited to rich people. Money can be as big a problem, if not more so, for those who do not have it as for those who do. In this case there is the added problem of whether we are willing to trust God to supply our needs (Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 4:11-13; 1 Timothy 6:6-8). But for those who do have considerable wealth, it soon becomes clear that there is no such thing as enough money (1 Timothy 6:17-19; Ecclesiastes 4:8; James 1:9-11). There is wisdom in the prayer that asks for neither poverty or riches (Proverbs 30:8,9).

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Need of a Work Ethic

Does the Bible prescribe a work ethic? What is a work ethic? It seems that our present culture moves between two extremes. Some people refuse to work and are unwilling to put in any effort. Others make work their whole life, often neglecting other things, including their families. Also, some will treat others as if they are entitled to support even if they do not work. Others feel that there is no requirement to help those in need and that if they would just stop being lazy, they would not need help. How can we make work a priority without making it an idol?

 

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The Value of Friendship

It is good to have friends who support us. There is a temptation in our current age of individualism to want to go it alone. We entertain ourselves and keep ourselves occupied, without really connecting with another human being. People, in general, live closer to one another than at any time in human history. And people, in general, are more isolated and lonely than at any time in human history. We can watch TV, listen to music, surf the Internet, even, ironically, be involved in social media, without really forming any deep connections with anyone. We can be busy doing a multitude of things, whether at work or at play, without stopping long enough to get to know the people around us. To get past that requires a deliberate effort. But it is an effort worth making.

 

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Perspective on Sex

The major idol of our time is money and the things money can buy. But if there is a clear competitor, it would be sex. Now the Biblical teaching is clear that the ideal is one man and one woman for life and that the only acceptable alternative is abstention (Proverbs 5:3-17; Matthew 19:3-12; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8). (Obviously, there are special cases, such as when a spouse dies, but the ideal remains.) But we are constantly bombarded by the opposite message that if it feels good, we should do it and who cares about the consequences.

 

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