Christian Living

Shall We Cast Lots?

Pitfalls in the Pursuit of Biblical Patterns

In Scripture, casting lots is routine. Some might even say it’s the normal way to decide a difficult question.

The OT 1 contains 24 references to “cast lots,” “casting lots,” and “the lot fell.” Two of these are in Proverbs where lot-casting is highly recommended.

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord (Prov. 16:33).
Casting lots causes contentions to cease, and keeps the mighty apart (Prov. 18:18).

In addition, the Urim and Thummim (probably a form of lot-casting) have a prominent place in Mosaic Law. All in all, the OT is very pro-lot.

The NT seems to be in favor of it as well. The practice is mentioned eight times, and one of those places refers to the selection of an apostle to replace Judas (Acts 1:26).

So if we have frequent favorable references to lot-casting across both Old and New Testaments, do we have a “biblical pattern”? Should we be casting lots in our churches rather than voting? After all, the Bible contains no direct command to vote on anything (some might argue that voting is the brainchild of humanistic philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau and his ilk).

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A Soldier Writes from Iraq

NOTE:The note written below is from Captain Steve Davies. He is a Captain in the Army on his second tour in Iraq. He served four years as prior enlisted in the Air Force. He accepted Christ during those years. When he left the Air Force, he enrolled at International Baptist College and over the next five years received both his BA and MA degrees in Bible. Steve married the former Carrie Stephens after graduation, and they have two young sons. This is a letter he wrote his father-in-law, who is a deacon at Tri-City Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona. If you would like to encourage Steve, you can contact him at

–Mike Sproul

Hey dad,

Thanks for the email. I lost all my email addresses on my computer a few weeks ago and I was hoping that you would email me soon.

Things are going pretty well here. I am ready to come home and see Carrie and the boys. Work is not so bad, but I am a little burned out.

I got a bunch of letters from Tri City. Please tell them all thank you for remembering me.

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"Your Problem Is . . .": A Biblical Approach to Confrontation

Some people in the body of Christ, at least in their own minds, seem to have the gift of confrontation. These are the folks most other Christians try to dodge. However, sometimes they sneak up on one of their brothers or sisters and utter those dreaded works. “May I speak with you for a minute?” Two questions immediately arise in the affronted brother’s mind: (1) What have I done this time? (2) Why is he confronting me when he has problems with … ? Usually, the issues these “gifted” people deal with are frivolous. On top of that, they often have issues they need to deal with themselves.

In spite of its bad connotations, Christian confrontation is commanded in Scripture. Webster’s Dictionary defines the word confront “to cause to face or meet; as, to confront one with the proofs of his wrongdoing.” In spite of Cain’s words, believers are “their brother’s keeper” (Gen. 4:9).

Galatians 6:1 defines Christian confrontation as the practice of Spirit-filled believers going to an erring brother in love and helping him to get right with God. We can use this verse to formulate a biblical model for Christian confrontation. The verse provides qualifications for the confronter, the purpose of confrontation, and the spirit of confrontation.

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“Miss Judgment’s” Misjudgment

I peered out the window as I heard a van pull up outside. I was curious about the other couples who were attending the Christian family conference over the weekend. As a woman emerged from a gray van, I gasped. “Honey,” I called to my husband who was putting away some of his things, “You won’t believe this woman outside! Her hair is buzzed, and she has a bald stripe shaved on the top of her head!” I kept looking out the window, wondering what kind of Christian woman would have a hairstyle like that. I imagined she was probably a feminist…or maybe a punk rocker. Either way, I knew I wouldn’t be making friends with her over the weekend. I let my eyes wander around the parking lot of the resort. I saw a kind-looking woman with long, curly red hair and another nice-looking person with shoulder-length blonde hair. I suspected I’d be making friends with some of the nicer-looking ladies I saw meandering around the premises. I couldn’t imagine how the bald-stripe woman fit into this conservative-looking group of people.

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Learning Things I’ve Preached, Part 2

Originally Posted on March 29, 2006

After my diagnosis one of the first questions I began to ask was, “Why is this happening to me?” For years I have encouraged my people, who have been surprised with a difficulty, that God has a purpose (Eph. 1:11) and would often list a few. I have been quite a bit more serious in searching the Scripture for those possibilities of late! And I have been amazed that the Lord often supplies us with His intention, when He has no obligation to do so. The information He gives leads to a relationship with Him (John 20:31, I John 5:13). We don’t need all the information to trust Him.

In affliction it is good to know that God has a purpose, though it is not necessary to know what it is. God does not always telegraph His goals for each trial. But it is necessary to know that Jesus alone gives value to suffering. The following is a list of possible purposes He has in our sickness. Note that I am addressing the common denominator of pain caused by several types of troubles. These afflictions may include sickness, financial problems, broken relationships, tribulations, trials, our own mistakes, “old age,” and even the consequences of our sins.

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