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Alderson Arts is a content provider of biblical teaching and secular articles. Cody Alderson has a calling on his life as a teacher of God’s word. He has been writing for over two decades with almost a decade of paid professional experience. He and his wife Tina work together to provide biblical teaching articles to church and ministry websites as well as secular content for the health, nutrition and family safety genres.

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Please contact us for answers to your questions or for more information.

Wondering if we can produce enough content? Last year we wrote over 1 million words of quality content content for a single client.

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Stop Exploiting So-Called Freedoms in Christ

“You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.
Farewell” —Acts 15:29 NIV.”

There is a runaway mindset in the church today. It has to do with so-called freedoms that Christians are promoting and defending for self-serving purposes and not for the edification of the body of Christ (the church). Understand up front that this is not a rant or diatribe. It is written to teach how to move to a higher level of service to the Lord. There must be an understanding that followers of Jesus can be anywhere along the spectrum of growth from a babe still needing to partake of the milk of the Word to those who are mature and growing through partaking the meat of the Word. That being said, this article is for those who can take the information, not be angry for learning it, and pray about incorporating it into their daily service to our Lord.

There is mindset in the church that pushes boundaries. There are a number of specific examples that could be called out, but making a list would probably shut down most readers from even attempting to understand what is being taught in this article. So, instead of a list of specific questionable freedoms many are actively promoting and defending in the church, let us begin with a biblically historical example.

When the early church was established, there was a meeting that is referred to as the Council at Jerusalem. It was held around 50 AD, which is about two decades after Jesus rose again from the dead and ascended into heaven. The apostles, including Paul—the apostle referred to as one called out of due season— and Barnabas, were there. James decreed what was decided concerning Gentiles (non-Jewish believers) when it came to circumcision and keeping the Law.

Paul and Barnabas taught that observing the law given to Moses for the Jews about circumcision of the flesh was not necessary for salvation through Christ. Some others were teaching that it was a necessary rite to be performed in order to be saved and that keeping the whole Law of Moses after circumcision was also necessary. This teaching was in error as it added something to the grace through faith in Jesus that is the foundation of the Gospel of Christ.

The decree of the council at Jerusalem was to not burden the Gentile believers with observance of the Mosaic Law other than to not fornicate, to not eat meat that was from an animal that was strangled (where the blood would remain in the animal), to not consume blood (a common practice among some non-Jews), and to not consume meat from animals that have been sacrificed to idols (meat purchased in markets was often sacrificed to an idol before being sold to the public). Such things were common among the Gentiles, and they were of great offense to Jewish followers of Christ.

The various churches now had believers who were Jews and Gentiles worshiping and learning about Jesus together. These few things being observed would help to prevent serious problems at the local gatherings of believers, even if the Gentiles were not under obligation to observe other rituals of the Law.

Then, Paul later wrote in 1 Corinthians 8:4 (NIV), “So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that ‘An idol is nothing at all in the world’ and that ‘There is no God but one.’” It sounds like a go-ahead to be free to eat food (including flesh/meat) sacrificed to idols. It sounds like a freedom to enjoy a meal out, even if it is dinner at the local temple where you know that the meat was sacrificed to a false god. However, the rest of the chapter does not bear that out. It plainly establishes that even if your conscience is clear in eating food sacrificed to a false god, because you know that the statues of wood, stone or metal are not alive and have no power whatsoever, you should choose not to in order to protect your brothers and sisters in Christ who do not have such strong minds. Paul Said,

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge.  When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall” — 1 Corinthians 8:9-13 NIV (emphasis mine).

This example should be the real go-to mindset for any so-called liberties that followers of Christ are personally or collectively attempting to promote or establish. These liberties may be anything. They may be a local custom or way of doing things. They can be an attitude. It could be anything from politics or choices to participate in certain  entertainment events to a manner of dress or even the social use of alcohol.

Some followers of Christ get angry when it is found out that other followers are questioning something they are doing or not doing. The standard response is often to start spouting scriptures about freedoms when it should be a heartfelt concern of having done something to cause a weaker brother or sister to fall.

Paul went on in 1 Corinthians 9:19 to talk about how he was free but became a slave to win as many souls for Jesus as he could. In 1 Corinthians 9:27 Paul talked about bringing his body under subjection to not lose out on the reward after having preached to others. 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 (NIV) has the Apostle noting, “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive.  No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.” Considering all the things you choose to do or not do as a Christian, do they serve the furtherance of the Great Commission to take the Gospel to everyone? Or, are there some things that are self-serving indulgences of the flesh that are claimed as liberties in Christ to be enjoyed but are actually causing a dissension or stumbling of those “others” of whom we all should be seeking their good?

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If Salvation Was A Consumer Product

If Salvation could be purchased by human beings, its price would forever be rising. If the reality of the consequences of dying in sin was known, Salvation would only be available in the most upscale stores. If the reality of the beauty of eternity with God was known, only the wealthiest people might be able to afford Salvation. If we understood our value, then Salvation would be worth the ultimate price. And, an ultimate price was set and paid by Christ Jesus who, while we were yet sinners, died for us.

“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:28-30).

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

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Sally Has Passed Away

Sally at Keystone State Park in Pennsylvania September 26, 2015.

Sally at Keystone State Park in Pennsylvania September 26, 2015.

Sally succumbed to end-stage kidney disease on November 11, 2015. We were not certain of her actual date of birth, but we made a guess based on her apparent age when we got her as a puppy in February of 2003. Our guess was that she was born sometime that prior December. We picked her birthday as December 7th. The same date that FDR said would live in infamy. Sally was our endless source of entertainment, so it is fitting that she passed away on Veteran’s Day since her birthday was on Pearl Harbor Day. Continue reading

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How We Treat Sally’s Fungated (Erupted) Cancer Wound on Her Foot

Sally’s tumor on her foot broke the skin when it grew too large. She was not a candidate for surgery to remove it because of its location and the need to remove all of the tumor and even more tissue to have clear margins. Amputation was what was recommended, but that would not work for Sally. We believe she would have never walked again if we chose that route for her treatment.

Instead, we chose to let it grow and then just keep it bandaged. She was already 12 when it began growing, and she also has end-stage kidney disease. The tumor has not diminished her mobility even when it erupted. However, her kidney disease is wearing her down. Lucy made it 13 months with a huge fungated wound on her left shoulder.

We just want others with pets to see how that with a few minutes and some simple  supplies almost anyone can help keep a fungated cancer wound on a dog from becoming infected. Follow your own veterinarians advice for treating your animals. This is just what worked for us in this unique situation. Be advised we do not represent ourselves to be anything other than pet parents who love our animals and do the best that we can to care for them. This should not be construed as medical advice. It is just to show that there are options to euthanasia.

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Sally Still Being Sally

Sally in better health back in June of 2010.

Sally in better health back in June of 2010.

Sally is older and skinnier.  She is still our little girl even though she is an old lady according to her doggy years. She will be 13 this December! I remember when we brought her home.  Her bigger sisters (Lucy and Amy) were not pleased. We thought we would have to take her back for her own safety. Even though we were not walking in God’s will for our lives at the time, we prayed that they would accept her. The very next day the big girls were okay with little floppity-eared Sally taking up space in their house and eating their food.

Soon, they began to protect her. When we moved to a place where we fenced in the yard, the girls all had a great time outdoors. If a stranger was walking by, the big girls would keep Sally behind them as they faced the potential threat. Lucy has give Sally a shove back a time or two, letting her know her place. The fenced-in area seemed small for our big dogs. Now, it seems big with skinny old Sally just going out to do her business and maybe walk the perimeter of the fence line, sampling a blade of grass or two.

We do not know how much time she has left. None of us know that about anyone, not even ourselves. I know God made us in his image. The bible is clear on that. However, keep in mind that animals were made first. God tells us that we are more valuable than many sparrows too. However, the word also points out in Ecclesiates 3:19 that my human flesh is going to die the same as animals. Job 12:10 lets me know that all life is in God’s hands.

I am not arrogant to say that pets who pass absolutely are or are not in heaven. The bible does not say one way or the other. That is because the bible is for us, not them. Sally is not in need of Salvation. It is us who have sin. It is us who are in need of Grace provided by Jesus (John 14:6). Would it not be an incredible sadness if pets are waiting in heaven to be reunited with their human family who never arrive?

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Churches With Federal Tax-Exempt Status

There are no new winds of change. The rushing mighty wind of Acts 2 has already arrived and is the power of the church—the body of Christ. Rest assured that the Holy Spirit is orchestrating everything according to the will of God. The Word speaks of all these things that are happening. Nothing is taking God by surprise. We are commanded to be wise as serpents yet harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16). It might be good to review Matthew 10 in its entirety. Add in at least Matthew 9:37-38 too.

Rightly divide the instructions. Jesus was never militant in opposing the will of man to preach the kingdom of God. We are fully instructed that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (2 Corinthians 10:3-6). Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand still stands today as it did when they were the first words of preaching out of the mouth of John the Baptist and Jesus when he began to preach too. When Jesus speaks of not bringing peace to the earth but a sword, it is not militancy. It is speaking to the line drawn in the sand that the Gospel message brings. Saved by the blood of Jesus bearing fruit, or not. Faith in God and in his Word, or not. Walking in the spirit, or walking in the flesh. Doing what the Lord says, or not (Luke 6:46). There is absolutely no militancy as followers of Christ.

The world opposes the things of God. To be a friend with the world is to be at enmity with God—friend of the world, enemy of God (James 4:4, Romans 8:5-10). The world will do as it has done since the Fall. We will do as we have done since the quickening of the Spirit of God that dwells within us arrived when we put our faith in Jesus for our salvation. Those who have been whelmed in the Holy Spirit know and remain willing to do God’s will, and his will is to simply continue to “preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

As history has borne out, it is not always an easy task to keep declaring to repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. There will be much opposition to the message, and it comes even in the form of legislation. Churches, be prepared to give up tax-exempt status. Be wise. The law already declares that to have a United States of America Internal Revenue Service designation as a tax exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) that the organizations “are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.” Not only the supporting of any particular candidate but also any “group of candidates” is prohibited. This is the law, and churches will abide by it if there is a desire to maintain tax-exempt status.

Now, consider a new law that may make it illegal for any tax exempt organization that performs marriage ceremonies to discriminate against same-sex couples desiring to be married. It is not at all beyond the realm of possibility for that, and more, to become law. Churches that refuse to abide by the law are under threat of losing their tax-exempt status. If things such as that become law, then it is law, it is law, it is law.  The church will either perform what the law instructs or will refuse and no longer enjoy tax-exempt privileges. No big deal. Render unto God the things that are God’s, and he will provide as he always does. Whether a coin in the mouth of a fish or dropping out of the sky (as it was given to me in a word), God will provide. Stay the course. Be wise and remain harmless.

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