Posted in Attributes of God, Beliefs, Christian Perspective, Communication, dialogue, Knowing God, love, Personal Testimony, Theology, Witnessing

False Ideas and the Idols we make: Witnessing to a Witness

Opening Thoughts…

Historically one of the first major heretics to arise out of the Christian faith was a man by the name of Marcion (2nd century; taught 140-155 A.D.). He denied many of the writings of the New Testament (hereafter N.T.) that seemed to share too much affinity with the Jewish faith of old. He took issue with the God of the Old Testament (hereafter O.T.) because he did not like the wrathful version of God he saw there. He looked at Jesus as the exact opposite; a person who was kind, good and loving. A version of this man’s teachings, based upon the same faulty assumptions, is still existent today.

When people read the N. T. this false veneer is presented on their interpretation of Jesus of Nazareth. He is portrayed as non-offensive and non-combative; a kind, loving, beggarly individual that would never say anything mean (he’d never want to hurt a person’s feelings) or sarcastic (he’d never want to cause contention with people). For many, the version of Jesus many people hold to today (even professing believers) is not compatible with what we read in the O. T. description of Holy God. It is often said, “Jesus loved everybody unconditionally.” Did he now? Is that really how He is described in the N.T.?

Witnessing to a Witness?

Yesterday, I had a forty-minute dialogue with a Jehovah’s Witness. He was attempting to invite me to a meeting they were having—a memorial service to the Last Supper. As he explained to me their position I politely listened. After he was finished I asked if he understood what the true meaning of the Last Supper was. “Well, to remember Jesus’ life,” he said. “Why is that important,” I asked? “What purpose did the cross of Jesus serve? What necessity did the blood of Jesus meet? To whom is His sacrifice applied, and what does it accomplish?” Besides his immediate detour on a discussion of whether or not the “Roman cross” was really a cross or “a stake,” he struggled with answering the questions I posed.

He said, “if you would only come to our meeting, then you would know our position.” In response I asked, “If I come to your meeting, would I be permitted to speak?” He shook his head and said, “no…you couldn’t do that, but won’t you be open minded, and just listen?” “If you did,” he added “you’d see the similarities that we have in our thinking.” Again I inquired, “Would you go to a seminar that atheists were holding and listen to them with an open mind?” Immediately, he said, “No, of course not!” “Why,” I pressed “for you would find that there are some things that you share in common with the atheist. There are things that they hold to that are common to all people.” He said, “But, they do not believe in God.” “Ah,” I said, “and herein lay our dilemma. You would suggest to me that I ought to go to your meeting to listen to what you have to say with an open mind. I could listen to what you have to say, just as I can listen to what an atheist has to say, because I am confident that by the Holy Spirit I can discern the truth from error. However,” I stated “if I were to offer you a similar invitation to my church to listen to my sermon, to hear my teaching, would you do so? Would you and your friends here be able to be as open-minded as you insist I should?” “Of course not!” he said. “That’s a problem,” I explained “for I see that you are not being very consistent .”

Trying to steer the conversation back to the reason why he came to my home he inquired once again, “Will you not come? I admit that I am not being consistent, but if you came to our meeting you would learn what we believe about this (the Lord’s Supper, what he continually called a memorial service) and in time might learn the truth.” Laughing a bit at his persistence I countered, “Why do you take communion?” (Now, I already knew that only the “anointed” in their cult were allowed to participate in taking communion at their memorial service, and the higher ups keep a running count of who claims to be of the “anointed class;” the 144,000 of Revelation 7:14; 14:1, 3). However, I had my own agenda at the moment and I wanted to make a point to a man that started off the conversation with me pretending to believe the Bible is the authoritative word on the subject of his beliefs.

He did not miss a beat in explaining to me that only the “anointed” could participate in the elements. I told him that I found that peculiar on two accounts. One, the Bible teaches that the disciples of Christ were to “do this in remembrance of [Him]” (Luke 22.19), and what we ought to notice if we read the Scriptures is that this rite was participated in by all members of the Christian community as seen in Acts (cf. 2:42, 46) and specifically in 1Cor 11:20-32. Two, on what grounds do you attempt to limit participation in what Christ commanded? From where do you get the designation “anointed” only, as the only class of Christians that may participate in the Lord’s Supper? Surely, the Bible does not teach this. Neither the Christ nor His apostles taught this, so why do you?

At this point he tried to show me Rev 21:17 where the text speaks of measuring the wall of the temple and its measurement is “144 cubits.” He then said, “This coincides with the 144,000….” I interrupted at this point, “You mean the 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel spoken of earlier in the book?” “Yes,” he said “this coincides with…” Again, I interjected “what’s a cubit?” “What?” he said. “Oh, well a cubit coincides with….” “No,” I stopped him “what is a cubit?” When he attempted the same song and dance I said to him, “A cubit is a unit of measurement isn’t it, similar to a foot?” “Yes, but it coincides with….” “the 144,000?” I finished. “Right, that’s right,” he told me without any hesitation.

I pointed out “Nope, that’s wrong. Rev 21:17 is speaking about a unit of measurement not a grouping of people. You are taking that text out of context and adding your own meaning to it, just as you do with the Lord’s Supper. Jesus told his followers to do this ‘in remembrance of him’ because it is His blood that paid the ransom price for our sinful lives. Jesus became a curse (cf. Gal 3.13), he became sin even though He never sinned, so that we might become the righteousness of God (cf. 2Cor 5.21). Jesus died to save His people from their sins (Matt 1.21),” I explained.

I continued, “The problem is that we do not believe in the same Jesus, we do not believe in the same God of Scripture—who is Triune in nature—for my God did for me what I could not do for myself. My works, my choice is not what saved me, my Lord saved me and I cannot deny my Lord.” He then attempted to adopt the same language as I had used for a few moments, but I ended up stopping him. I explained, “You use the same language that I use, but you do not mean the same things. The Father sent the Son into the world to die for His people (people given to Him by the Father), and the Son laid down His life for His people, and the Holy Spirit raises Christ’s people up regenerating them.”

With a look of confusion on his face he proceeded to say, “Though much of what you say Kris is true; much of what you say is ignorant and it comes from your ignorance.” Laughing a bit, I told him “Since you called me ignorant, I must ask have you not read? ‘God chose the weak out of the world, the poor out of the world and the foolish out of the world…’ (1Cor 1.27-28; paraphrased) you call me an ignoramus and that’s fine; God called me, I am His, and I cannot deny Him. He saved me from hell…but you my friend, you do not have this.”

Closing Thoughts…

About this point, you may have wondered if I forgot what I opened up with at that beginning of this post, but I have not forgotten. After my last statement my dialogue with this J.W. grew a bit animated. His disdain for the doctrine of hell became apparent. He identified my God as one who is wrathful and cruel. He said, “What sort of awful God would condemn a person like us, who lives what? Seventy or Eighty years to an eternity in torment! A loving God would never do such a thing, that wouldn’t be fair…seventy years for forever!?! God destroys those who do not faith in Him, who do not freely choose Him…He wouldn’t do what you suggest.” In the remaining couple of minutes in our conversation I asked if he believed God was truly holy and tried to explain the depths of our sin and need for Jesus as a substitute, but he would have none of it.1 He left in a hurry and I prayed for the man and the people who were with him.

This reaction of disdain and disgust is the norm when a person reads the commands of God, and the penalties that follow for our sin against Him. People have made God into an idol. They have elevated one or a few of His attributes, like love or goodness, above all others. The moment that God does not fit the mold that people have formed in their hearts of who they believe the God of the Bible should be, they offhandedly reject Him.

God is more than the supposed defining mark of love and goodness. He is also holy and therefore hates sin. He is Just and therefore, as judge delves out justice in all cases. God is many things, for many attributes are given in Scripture that accurately define His perfect characteristics (i.e. character/nature), but to elevate one over and above another gives a disproportionate view of who He is; and, is therefore by definition an idol. To do that with the God of Scripture is to take His Name in vain and blaspheme Him. This, ironically or not, warrants a penalty of a death sentence; to which (no surprise here!) people complain about, as being much too harsh. And to that kind of thinking I will respond with the words of the late R.C. Sproul, “What is wrong with you people!”

______________________________________________

ENDNOTES:

1 I also spent some time with him in John 12:37-41 and Isaiah 6:1-10 proving that Jesus was the one whose glory Isaiah saw in the past as Yahweh (Jehovah), but no matter how clear the text was before him (even in his New Word Translation—NWT) he was confused by what he was reading and hearing (cf. Acts 9.22).

Posted in Christian Living, Christian Perspective, New Year Resolutions, Personal Testimony

Do you enjoy your life? New Year Resolutions

Do you enjoy your life? To some I imagine the nature of the question may come off a bit silly, but I assure you the question is anything but silly. Do you enjoy your life?

We have reached the dawning of a New Year and the majority of people in our little world are found celebrating. Granted some are celebrating or have already celebrated in a fashion that needs to be frowned upon, but I find it appropriate to ask why? What is there to celebrate about the transition from one year to another?

Your response will differ depending upon what type of person you are (and no I’m not talking about the extrovert versus the introvert, although there are certainly noticeable differences there). The response you give to “why are you celebrating the coming in of a New Year?” will differ depending upon your theological bent (again, not arguing the about the various distinctions between our prized theological traditions; everyone is a theologian, even the atheist no matter how ardently they may seek to deny it).

Let me be a little more specific. As a Christian, why are you celebrating? As a non-believer, why are you celebrating? What is so special about the New Year? The cynical person may say, “there’s nothing special about this new year,” and yet at the same time be found making various resolutions to better their life and/or improve the quality of it.

A little over a year ago I was having a bout with doubts. You see, this year (in about a month) I will be turning 40 years old, and by all intents and purposes I have accomplished nothing of import. Now I’m not saying that attitude is a good reflection of a Christian man, let alone a pastor, but if I’m being honest that was how I felt. I thank the Lord that I have a wife who is courageous enough to call me an idiot! I won’t bore you with all the details of why I was having these thoughts, but her not so gentle rebuke woke me up out of my stupor…if you will. This did not remove the questions that I still am found pondering over, but my attitude was correctly steered.

I say all of this to once again visit the question, “Do you enjoy your life?” I find that this question is irrevocably tied to our anticipation of what comes in the dawning of yet another year. We celebrate the coming New Year because we enjoy life at least to some extent. Some may enjoy the prospect of a better life in the year to come, but others may genuinely enjoy the lot in life that they have been given.

I believe that if we asked Jesus of Nazareth that same question his response would be a resounding “YES!”

Wait a minute! You mean the guy that Isaiah describes as the suffering servant (cf. Isa 53). The man whose own people turned against Him, who screamed with murderous intent “His blood on us and on our children!” (Matt 27.25) before having him nailed to a Roman cross. Are you telling me that Jesus would answer the question, “Did you enjoy your life? All of it?” with a definite yes?

Yes…

Jesus enjoyed the company of his disciples. He enjoyed the fellowship of those who broke bread with him and drank wine with him. He had a good time at weddings, in worshiping with the people of God, fishing and reading, praying and singing, and long conversations into the night with friends and family. He loved little children, and no doubt smiled warmly at the infants who cooed. He enjoyed sunsets and the smell of the flowers of the field, and the taste of harvested bounties. No doubt he enjoyed sweating through a hard day’s labor with his step-dad Joseph as they worked in the carpentry trade. If asked of our Lord, “Do you enjoy life?” He would have said “yes, every day is a gift, a blessing to cherish and behold.”

You say, “Kris…how can you say such things? How can you know that is what He would have said?” Because any person who could look at the suffering entailed with the crucifixion and death he endured with a joyful heart is one who can and would answer the question “Do you [did you] enjoy your life?” with yes.

  • “[Look] to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12.2)

This same Jesus is the one who sent the Spirit to the writer of Ecclesiastes and moved him to say,

  • “And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun” (Eccl 8.15; cf. 3.12-14; 5.18-20).
  • “Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do. Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head” (Eccl 9.7).

Every day of our lives is a gift. Every day of our lives, the good and the bad, is meant to be viewed through the eyes of our Sovereign Creator, and we find joy in life, in all its seasons (see Eccl 3.1-8; Lam 3.38) because of Him. The Westminster Shorter Catechism asks an appropriate question, “What is the chief end of man?” That is to say, “What is the primary purpose of man?” The answer if very simple, “Glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”

Our focus needs to be on the Lord above. He gives us joy and we find peace in Him knowing that all things are in His hands. Our responsibility is to be obedient to Him, for that is how we glorify Him…that is how we love Him. And it is from this knowledge of who He is coupled with who we are as His creatures that gives us true joy. We are then equipped to realize that every day is a gift—yes even the bad ones—and they have been given to us to know Him, who is above all things, all the while enjoying life to the fullest in His Name.

When I was very young I was told that the book of Ecclesiastes was a very distressing book. A book that was guaranteed to put your heart in the dumps. If we look at it from the wrong perspective, I can see that. When I ponder the New Year celebrations and the many resolutions that follow them, I see the truth of why we tend to get down. Our perspective on life is skewed, and as a result we are chasing the wind (Eccl 1.14) or as we might say it today, “chasing our tails.” Why don’t we start chasing after God and His righteousness (cf. Matt 6.33), and take pleasure in each day as if it were our last? Tomorrow has enough worries of its own. Enjoy today. Enjoy your life. Find pleasure in that which the Lord has given you. Look to Him, above all else.

God Bless.

Posted in Christian Witness, Communication, Personal Testimony, Theology

Offering A Brief Glimpse into My Life and the Formation of My Thought

Who am I? Why am I here? What am I supposed to do with mylife? These were the questions that plagued my mind when I was in my youth. Thereason for this was because I was repeatedly told that I needed to figure outwhat I wanted to do after graduation. Was I going to college? Then I needed toknow where, and what I was going to major in. Was I going to start working?Then I needed to know where, and what trade I was willing to learn.

Having received an academic scholarship from the Universityof Charleston, in Charleston, W.V. my path seemed chosen for me. Who would passup free money to go to school? Obviously, I wasn’t a lout when it came tostudies. I’ve always been a bit of a book nerd, with a tendency to analyze(some would say “over analyze) everything. I left home a little more than twomonths after graduation (August 21st, 1997) moved into the dormitoryand began attending classes a few days later. A couple of weeks before this Ihad applied for a waiter position at a Pizza Hut about two miles down the road,so extra income was not going to be a problem.

My chosen field of study was psychology with a minor insociology. Classes were not hard, although if you were to look at my grades youmight think otherwise. In fact, before my second semester I was warned by myacademic advisor that my scholarship was about to be put on probation. Thelimitations placed on the scholarship were pretty simple, maintain a B average(I wanted to say 3.4, but I could be wrong; its been a few years). I believe Iwas around a 2.6.

There were several mitigating problems that led to thisstate.

First, I did not manage my new-found freedom very well. 

Personal Cutscene now Ensuing: For the better part of my life I had been raised in church (since about the age of 3 or 4). My dad had served in preaching ministry as a pastor in the Church of the Nazarene since the turn of the decade (early 90’s, I wanted to say 1991, but I can’t be sure). Looking back there was never a time that I doubted what I had been taught or read from the Bible.

It was at the age of 7 when Ireally became aware of the fact that I was a sinner who needed saving (I canstill remember the revival service in New Lexington, OH where I went to thealtar of my own volition—no coercion was present, my own conscience inconfliction motivated me). As a little child I cried out to Jesus to save me,acknowledging myself a sinner. However, as children are prone to do I strayedfar afield.

Theologically, we could argue whether or not I was truly saved, but that would have to be another discussion. My point right now, is that my freedom and my lack of personal motivation to serve the Lord with all my heart proved disastrous. Now, I did not walk away unscathed. My heart was continually tormented and my conscience would intermittently feel the prick of sin. Even when I seemed to grow very calloused to the things I once held dear, it seemed the Holy Spirit would put people in my path to give me a proverbial gut punch; to remind me He was still there.

My grades slipped as a result of my freedom. I spent toomuch time…well, I’ll let your imagination fill the void there…and skippingclass became the norm.

Secondly, I found that my choice of major/minor were notcompatible with my current worldview. Now I didn’t know what a worldview was atthe time, but I did know that what I was being taught in psychology andsociology did not coalesce with my thoughts on human nature and how people inthe world ought to live. There was a great divide in regards to thepresuppositions that the heads of those departments held with my own (again Ididn’t know what presuppositions were at the time either). Our differingassumptions, biases and traditions led to conflict.

Uhm…Another Brief Cutscene Ensues: The head of the psychology department was a redhead and so when his anger rose so did the color of his face. I experienced this first hand in a class he was teaching with about 30 of my peers when I challenged something he said during a lecture. I don’t believe I was confrontational, but we sometimes have a fine way of justifying the way we speak to others…so I may have been. In any event, before long he was yelling at me and finger pointing. The end of the matter being, I went to his office and told him that I would be changing my major/minor. He responded, and this is paraphrased, “Good, we don’t need people like you in this field!”

So, in the end, though I had changed my major to Education(don’t remember what I changed my minor to; political science maybe?), after mysecond semester I transferred to another school in another state and startedworking for my grandfather’s construction company in Crooksville, OH.

What happened that made this transition in my life seemnecessary? Well, during the month of May, towards the end of April, when schooldismissed I found myself alone. All of my friends had ventured back to theirperspective states. Earlier in the year, at the turn of the second semester myroommate and I had decided to get an apartment off campus. Although, the schoolattempted to dissuade us from this, citing that first-year students (i.e.freshman) needed to remain on campus, we were just as adamant that as adults wewould make our own living decisions…thank you very much!

Yeah, yeah…Here’s another one of those cutscenes: The end of the semester led to some unsettling realities. I’m a bit of a movie buff, so I went to the movies alone (remember everybody was gone). A new sci-fi thriller had come out the week before. As I sat in the theater I kept waiting for people to come in and take their seats; none did. Towards the end of the movie, the feeling of emptiness really pressed in on me. I kept thinking, I am as empty inside as this theater is.

About a week later (I think), I had one of the older guys from work buy me a case of Budweiser. I had put it on ice before my shift at Pizza Hut the day before. When my workday was done, I sat down facing the big bay window in my apartment and watched the sunset over the mountains. A truly beautiful sight to be sure, but my heart was sad. The constant refrain kept running through my mind, “Kristafal…what are you doing with your life? How long will you attempt to live without me?” Now, I’m not saying that the Lord was truly speaking in my mind here, nor am I saying that God does not speak or cannot speak in such a fashion to His creatures, but I believe a more appropriate retelling is to state that what I knew about God and myself as a created being, the Holy Spirit was bringing to the forefront of my mind.

We read the Bible to learn about God and man. We read the Bible to hear the voice of God—that is why He went to such great care in preserving it and why so much blood has been spilled that we may have access to it. We read the Bible, for that is how the Holy Spirit conditions (renews) our minds, and it is through the Bible that we hear the voice of God (cf. 1John 4.1).

At the age of 19, I was struggling with who I was, why I wasborn, and what I was supposed to be doing with my life. Those answers did notcome to fruition until late in the winter of 2004. In the month of February, I foundmyself in a movie theater once again (do you remember me mentioning that I’m abit of a movie buff?). This night I didn’t want to go, but I was invited bysome family to see Mel Gibson’s new movie The Passion of the Christ. Barringall the errors in the film theologically, and all the criticisms that you mightwant to levy at it, that movie caused a great quake to rupture through myheart.

I’m not even going to say it this time: The language of Hebrew and Aramaic broke through the darkness and weighty silence of the theater’s crowd. Every slash of the Roman whip across the back of who was supposed to be Jesus of Nazareth made my heart ache. The mockery of the Romans and the Jews, the long walk to Golgotha—the place of the Skull—the driving of the nails (spikes) into the hands and feet of Jesus, the agony displayed as he was hung upon the cross. All of these things and many more brought to life in a different way the various passages I had been taught and read over the years. My breath escaped me, each attempt to draw air into my lungs harder than the last. All I kept thinking through the snot and tears was that He bore my iniquities through the punishment He endured (cf. Isa 53). His blood (“the life is in the blood” Lev 17.11) was offered in substitution for my own—Life for life.

I could not leave that theaterwithout begging for mercy and forgiveness. “Jesus died for me! How could Ipossibly continue living my life as if this were not true?” These were thethoughts that plagued my mind and I praise the Lord for that even to this day.

Before attending this showing, I had already been attendinga small Nazarene church in Roseville, OH. My work at my grandfather’sconstruction company had ended. I was now working in Columbus, OH for acommercial HVAC company. After the showing my life experienced a dramaticchange of course.

You could not shut me up about Jesus and how He hadtransformed my life. Reading the Bible was pleasurable again, as it was when Iwas a child. I couldn’t put down God’s Word. My heart burned in similar fashionas those disciples on the road to Emmaus must have (Luke 24.13-32). When helpwas needed in the local church I was there volunteering. Before too long, I wasteaching the Teen Sunday school class. Later, I began singing in the choir andeventually performed solos. By April of 2006 I testified that I was feeling ledinto Christian ministry. The local church affirmed this, and later so did theDistrict on which our church served. I began Bible college in the fall(Nazarene Bible College, Colorado Springs, CO), eventually graduating in 2011.

On November of 2008, I accepted my first pastoral positionin Chesterhill, OH. I continued to grow in the Lord, even though I will be thefirst one to tell you and confess that I am a sinner saved by grace. I want tostress that fact that Christians are sinners. Doesn’t matter if we serve in ministryor not, there will always be a struggle with our sinful nature inherited by ourforeparents.[1]You may want to disagree with that position, but I will let you argue with theLord and His Word on that one (cf. Gal 5.16-17). Some would say, and I havebeen told, that pastors shouldn’t say that they are sinners. I disagree.

I am no different than any other person on this planet (now,past or present). What makes me different is that I have been made alive inChrist Jesus (Eph 2.5-6). Realizing that the standard is to be perfect as my heavenlyfather is perfect (Matt 5.48; cf. Lev 19.2; 20.26), that this is the true intentbehind loving the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and myneighbor as myself (how horribly short we all fall HERE!), how could I dare sayother than I am a sinner saved by grace?

Now, I was raised Wesleyan-Arminian, but I no longer hold tothose tenents. I cannot in good conscience. This was why I resigned as a pastorfrom the Church of the Nazarene, even though I was due to be ordained.[2]I am firmly resolute in my conviction in Reformed thought. I am unashamed as aCalvinist, although I would argue that John Calvin would probably roll over inhis grave if he knew that his name was being used as an identifier rather thanjust a Christian.

Why the change? Well, to be perfectly honest for far toolong I had believed things according to tradition and I had never challengedthose traditions with what the Bible taught historically, grammatically, andcontextually. Over the course of a couple years, as I served as pastor in asmall rural church, I began investigating orthodox Christian thought from thepast and comparing what they said with what I held to be true, under the lightof Scripture. The key issue for me was if I am going to be a Christian minister[3]who preaches and teaches the Word of God, where should my ultimate commitmentlie? Tradition or Scripture? Philosophy or Scripture? Science or Scripture? UnaidedReason or Scripture?

I was once told in a liberal chat session by a minister whostood well outside of what has been historically known as Christian thought,that he wished he had the conviction and passion that I did. I asked, “Why can’tyou? You have access to the same Scripture that I do.” He refused to shift histheological underpinnings, though he appreciated my own.

If it is true that in Jesus Christ are found “all thetreasures of wisdom and knowledge,” (Col 2.3; cf. 1.9-10) and if it is true thatwe as Christians are to bring “every thought captive to obey Christ” (2Cor10.5), then why would I want to understand any of the subjects mentioned abovewithout the introspective lens of Scripture guiding and correcting my understandingof them? The fact is I don’t, and I can’t see how any Christian consistently could.

Okay, but why the life story? Why the glimpse into my life?Because I want the reader to know, whoever they may be that I say the things Ido out of love. First for the Lord, and second for you. Recently I was toldabout a confrontation a person had with their doctor (psychiatrist) who is ofIndian descent (not Native American). The doctor was of the assumption thatthere may be one god, but many paths led to him which is why we see theexpression of so many religious beliefs. The individual answered, “No, there isonly one God, one truth, one way, one life. If one religion is true, then theothers are false.” That upset the doctor to no end. The person told me that whatthe doc was saying didn’t make sense anyway. He said, “there is no ‘s’ on theend of way, truth and life (ref. to John 14.6).” I praise the Lord that this memberof my church was able to speak the truth in love in a circumstance where manyothers would balk.

I confess that I may speak very passionately and strongly attimes, but my hope is that you all understand…whoever you may be…that the loveof Christ compels me. We may disagree on a multitude of subjects, and that isfine, but I want to speak the truth of the Lord in love in the hope that somemight hear and be moved to respond. The truth of the matter is this, our livesare very short, and it is not a question of “if” but of “when” we will meet ourMaker….In what state, do you want to meet Him? Apart from Jesus Christ, youwill be irrevocably lost. My prayer is that is not the case.

ENDNOTES:


[1] I do believe that thisstruggle lessens somewhat as we become conformed to God’s way of thinkingrather than our own, but this battle will be present to some extent throughout our whole life.

[2] Myordination did come a couple of years later within the SBC; April 2014.

[3] Beinga Christian minister is not necessary to use this application. It should applyto all Christian thought, regardless of their position.