This year my New Year’s Resolution is to celebrate New Year’s at a time more conducive to change and renewal—oh say, spring instead of the dark, dead of winter when I’m just coming off the sugar high of the holidays. Somehow I think we Gregorian calendar devotees have got this one all wrong.
Historically, New Year’s Day hasn’t always fallen on January first because our calendar hasn’t been a consistent entity. Factor in a few mythological gods, Roman emperors, and a pope or two. Add a dash of Protestant Reformation and you’ll find that in the past, the New Year occurred anywhere from January 1 to March 25. (Surprisingly, it wasn’t until 1752 that England and the American colonies began celebrating New Year’s on January 1st.) That’s nothing to say of the multiple cultures that celebrate it in recognition of their own calendars. And if you really want your head to spin, don’t forget all our dear southern hemisphere friends who experience the seasons opposite to us and whose Christmas and New Year’s celebrations include BBQs on the beach.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that, in my experience, making resolutions on January 1 is a bad idea.
Because there’s nothing particularly organic about celebrating the New Year this way. For most of us, it’s simply a function of the calendar and happens primarily because we’ve reached the end of the month and need to turn the page (or in my case, glue magnets on the back of my 2012 office-sized calendar from Target and stick it to the side of the refrigerator.) Think about it—there is no seasonal change or religious celebration that would motivate us to make resolutions; it’s simply a cultural obligation. Or, in my experience, the result of the guilt from eating too much, exercising too little and overspending in the last six weeks since Thanksgiving.
Adopted March 11, 2016 by the FBFI. The July/August 2016 issue of FrontLine includes the following position statements on Creation and Gender, two vitally important points of contention in our society. The articles in the July/August issue also address fundamentally important themes. Click here to subscribe to the magazine. (From Proclaim & Defend, with permission.)
1. The Bible teaches six solar days of creation, as indicated by a plain reading of Genesis 1, Exodus 20:8–11, and other passages that refer to the creation week. The Bible also affirms that God created by His miraculous, spoken word, not by any natural process. This precludes the change from one “kind” to another, although it allows for subsequent modifications within a “kind.”
From Voice magazine, July/August 2016. Used by permission.
The members and churches of the IFCA International maintain their historical commitment to God’s Word, the Bible as the final and supreme authority in all matters of faith and practice. Morality is a matter of biblical definition, not subject to any cultural, social or political redefinition. Morality, when left to popular opinion, will drift from generation to generation, but biblical truth remains constant and absolute.
The Biblical teaching on issues of human sexuality and marriage is the final word regardless of what any human individual or human institutions, organizations or groups might contend. There is no authority that can supersede, countermand or preclude the teaching of the Word of God.
Church messengers from all across the country convened on Wednesday, June 29, to attend the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches’ national association 2016 business meeting. Among other actions, the association adopted the following resolutions.
The messengers of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, meeting together in regular conference June 28—July 1, 2016, at Harvest New Beginnings in Oswego, Illinois,
Believing that the Old Testament Scriptures are rich in teaching concerning Christ (Luke 24:27; John 5:39), regarding such topics as His incarnation, death, resurrection, glory, Messiahship, kingship, and much more,
Rejoicing in the privilege of preaching, teaching, and proclaiming the Old Testament in the light of Christ and New Testament revelation,
With appreciation to A Puritan’s Mind and the Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Jonathan Edwards was born in the American Colonies in 1703 and raised in the Puritan and Congregationalist tradition. He entered Yale College just shy of 13 years of age and graduated at the head of his class in 1720. He wrote the resolutions below from 1722 to 1723, at age 19. At the time, he was studying theology at New Haven and serving as pulpit supply at a small Presbyterian church.
Being sensible that I am unable to do any thing without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him, by his grace, to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake.
Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.
1. Resolved, That I will do whatsoever I think to be most to the glory of God, and my own good, profit, and pleasure, in the whole of my duration; without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved, to do whatever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved, so to do, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.
2. Resolved, To be continually endeavouring to find out some new contrivance and invention to promote the forementioned things.
3. Resolved, If ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.
4. Resolved, Never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God, nor be, nor suffer it, if I can possibly avoid it.
5. Resolved, Never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.
6. Resolved, To live with all my might, while I do live.
7. Resolved, Never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.