Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Death of Success: Willy Loman and the Longing for Satisfaction

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By Sarah McDaniel, Class of 2017

In the age we live in, people measure themselves through their achievements. While this can be helpful as motivation to work hard, worldly achievements only bring temporary happiness. Soon enough, one achievement is finished and another has to be found. The satisfaction of true success seems to be unattainable.

For example, in The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, the main character, Willy Loman, struggles his entire life trying to find success. Throughout the play he looks for something tangible, like money or respect. However, he dies unhappy because he is never able to achieve success in these areas.

But what if there was a way to feel success all the time, no matter what?

What Willy Loman was missing was something greater than tangible success; he was missing the love that can only be found in Christ. If Loman had found Christ, he would have found that even though he was not rich or respected by all, he would have felt successful because he was loved by God in Christ.

The root of the human struggle is trying to achieve success without Christ. Without him, the satisfaction of true success will always elude us.

On the Way and Already There: The Dual Nature of Sanctification

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By Carter Lemons, Class of 2015

What does it mean to become a Christian? Is it simply walking up to the altar and praying a prayer, or is it something more? The answer to this question often involves the term “sanctification,” but few Christians have a sound understanding of this term’s meaning. The dictionary definition of “sanctify” is to set apart or make holy, but there is so much more to it than that. The Bible describes it as a process that is integral to salvation itself. In this regard, one might think the Bible is inconsistent, since salvation is also described as a one-time event. The challenge is determining how to reconcile this tension; but to do this, one must define sanctification with more theological depth. To this end, we will define sanctification as the act and process through which people who accept Christ as their Lord and Savior are made more like Him through the Holy Spirit who aids in resisting temptation.

The process of sanctification is mentioned multiple times in the Bible. In Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, he writes, “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (5:23). The word “completely” indicates a process with multiple stages, the end goal of which is blamelessness. Earlier in the book, Paul gives an example of what this sanctification looks like. He says one who is sanctified will avoid sexual immorality. Jesus also references sanctification in his high priestly prayer. When he prays for his disciples, he asks the Father to “sanctify them in truth” (John 17:17). This request shows that sanctification is a process because the disciples had already submitted to Jesus as Lord and had been following him for years, but they were evidently not yet fully sanctified.

Other passages of Scripture convey that sanctification is a one-time event. Paul describes it this way in his defense before Agrippa. In speaking of the people of God, he describes them as “. . .those who are sanctified by faith in [Christ]” (Acts 26:18). If faith is the only thing necessary for sanctification, then it is a one-time event and not a process. A more obvious reference comes from the Book of Hebrews. The author shares the gospel in terms of sanctification. “So Jesus also suffered outside the gate to sanctify the people through his own blood” (Heb. 13:12). Since Jesus only died once, and his death was to sanctify the people, it follows that sanctification is a one-time event.

So how to resolve this apparent contradiction? Perhaps by analogy. In a way, sanctification is a lot like marriage. It is a one-time event and a process at the same time. A couple gets married, and the ceremony is a one-time event. At that ceremony they “get married.” However, it is also an ongoing process. The got married in the past, are still married in the present, and, Lord willing, will still be married in the future. Their marriage grows in depth and becomes something more than it was at that ceremony so many years prior.

Finally, Paul writes that part of being sanctified is abstaining from sexual immorality and by implication abstaining from all sin (1 Thess. 4:3). This cannot be done on earth. The process is never fully completed. Humans can never be without sin. The beautiful truth of the matter is that sanctification does not have to be completed to spend eternity with God, it just has to be in process.

Westminster Homecoming 2014

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By Olivia Godfrey, Class of 2016

The Westminster School at Oak Mountain celebrated another exciting Homecoming the week of January 21-25. It started off with Hippie/70s dress up day. During lunch there was a crazy human tricks competition between all students. The next day students dressed up as their favorite literary or movie character. Examples of just a few costumes were Pippi Longstocking, characters from Winnie the Pooh, and characters from Monsters, Inc. The following day was Twin Day. Everyone paired up with someone else and became twins for the day by wearing matching clothes. Throughout the whole week, teachers picked the winners of the day’s costume, and the winners were announced the following day. Each person who won earned points for his or her house.

The final dress up day on Friday was Westminster Spirit Day. The whole school was encouraged to wear Westminster wear and show their support for the school. At the end of the day on Friday, the varsity boys and girls basketball teams helped lead a pep rally for all of the Lower School students, encouraging them to come to the Homecoming basketball games the next day. Wild cheering and loud, romping music provided the perfect recipe to get students very excited about the upcoming games.

Saturday finally arrived, and it was Homecoming game day at last. Both teams would be playing Whitesburg Christian Academy at Samford University. The girls played first, coming up just short with a disappointing four point loss. The boys were next, ending with a substantial victory over Whitesburg.

The crowds at these games were impressive. Students from all grades were there cheering on the Knights. During halftime of the girls’ game, the seniors of the varsity boys team were recognized, then during the boys halftime all Lower School athletes and coaches were recognized. Also, a few teachers and those chosen from the crowd participated in the annual half court shot competition.

After the games ended, students in ninth through twelfth grades all headed back to the school for chili and a bonfire. Each house brought chili that was judged, and a winner of the chili competition was announced later that night. It was a great ending to another amazing homecoming week.