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The Game

On Sunday evening, February 4, millions of people will gather around their TVs to watch the Super Bowl. Sadly, many Christians will also sit down and watch “the game that everyone has to watch.” Some might even scornfully ask you why you will not join them. What is our response to this massive event that […]

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Social Media: Self-Worship?

We are all familiar with the first commandment in the table of the law…maybe even too familiar.  Those of us who were raised in the Protestant Reformed Churches have heard the law read hundreds of times, Sunday after Sunday.  In response to this commandment, we quickly say, “I only worship one God, the true God […]

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Mirrors, Thoughts, and a Golden Calf

Remember the story of the golden calf and the people of Israel? Exodus 32 tells us how the people of Israel became impatient waiting for Moses to come back down Mount Sinai. They wanted a god they could see, so Aaron had them melt their gold and make a calf. They worshipped this calf by […]

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A Thistle in Your Heart?

[A Hidden Idol in Plain View] Is there a thistle in the corner of the garden of your heart? Perhaps a patch of growing and expanding thistles? I refer to the metaphor of the parable of the sower, and through it I challenge you to consider the theme of idolatry as it applies to a […]

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My Exceeding Joy — Even in Darkness

According to 1 John 1:4, the very goal of the gospel of the covenant of grace is that we may experience the fullness of joy.  It is certainly our prayer as pastors that you yourselves live in the consciousness of the joy of your relationship with our covenant God in Jesus Christ. In the light […]

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The twenty-eighth century of His-story opens upon a band of 600 Philistines entering the heritage of Shamgar, a man of God in Israel.  They had poured their energy and resources into developing superior iron tools and weapons and felt ready to press into the land of these despised people who put their trust in God.  […]

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Crosses in the Churches

Dear Rev. Laning Here is my question, hopefully you can answer it. In examination of the movie the “Passion of Christ” and the Protestant Reformed stand against it, how, in light of the second commandment, do you view the crosses that we have in several of our churches? Are they a symbol that have a […]

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Little Children, No Idols!

Me? A little child? Having read the title, perhaps you may conclude already that this article does not apply since you’re are not a little child anymore. Perhaps you wonder if the author is holding the young people in low esteem by calling them “little children.” Before we in haste turn the page, we must […]

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Letters

Dear Editor, As a subscriber for nearly 45 years, I would like to express my appreciation for many good articles in the Beacon Lights. In the May issue, there are a number of articles that are very appropriate and edifying. Two things that, in my opinion, don’t add to the positive image of the Beacon […]

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Just Wood

Jared watched as his father cut down a tree with a chain saw and then split pieces of the trunk with an ax. Jared wished he was old enough to help. So did his father! “Dad, what’s all this wood for?” “Some is for the fireplace, to help keep us warm,” chop, “and some is […]

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No Other Gods

John Calvin once described the inner motiva­tions of people in this way, “The poor yield to the rich, the common people to the nobles, the ser­vants to the masters, the ignorant to the schol­ars; but there is nobody who does not imagine that he is really better than the others. Everyone flatters himself and carries […]

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The Second Commandment

Question 96 of the Heidelberg Catechism asks, “What doth God require in the second commandment?” Answer “That we in no wise represent God by images, nor worship him in any other way than he has commanded in his word”. How we are to serve him is the instruction we find here. Now don’t say right […]

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The Ten Commandments: No Other Gods

John Calvin once described the inner motivations of people in this way, “The poor yield to the rich, the common people to the nobles, the servants to the masters, the ignorant to the scholars; but there is nobody who does not imagine that he is really better than the others.  Everyone flatters himself and carries […]

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A Letter to Welcome You to My House of Imagery

Dear Grandchildren: I haven’t heard from you in a long while, and wondered why. But then I haven’t written you for a long while either. In this letter, we are going to do some more thinking, or, wondering together. Remember we have wonder­ed about angels and about devils? This time we will wonder about images. […]

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Linen Bands – or Shroud?

Not long ago a sermon was preached by a Florida pastor entitled, “The Shroud of Turin.’’ The particular thing worthy of notice about it was that it was enough to leave a Reformed listener feeling like Paul, as mentioned in Acts 17:16, where “his spirit was stirred in him when he saw the city wholly […]

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Modern Day Forms of Idolatry

I.   What is Idolatry? A.  Idolatry is to worship someone or something other than the one true God. (Cf. H.C. L.D. 34) 1. Who is the one true God and how do we know him? a. His identity 1) He is Jehovah, the God of Israel in all ages. 2) He is the God and […]

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