I did say “please.” 🙂 Not a day goes by when we aren’t lectured by a Talk Show Host, News Commentator, secular University Professor, Actor or some other theologically inept person about the Christian Faith. They hike their noses in haughty disdain for the ignorant Evangelical Bible Thumpers who simply don’t get it. They school us on what the Bible really means or what Jesus would do if He were walking the earth today. I, for one, am fed up!
While I freely admit that I do not know everything about God or His Holy Word, I have dedicated my life to Him. I’m not simply saying that I believe in God, I’m saying that I am a fully committed, undeniable and unashamed, Bible believing, radically and mercifully born-again servant and diligent disciple of God. I have read and studied the Bible as long as I can remember. By the time I was twelve I was reading books on the End-Times, by the age of thirteen I was teaching Sunday School and preaching. I have studied other religions for similarities and contrasts. I have engaged the history of the church in order to understand our current day. I desperately struggled with my faith in the presence of unbelieving college professors and business professionals. I prayed for answers to my questions, and am delighted to report that God revealed them – although not as quickly as I would have liked.
My relationship with God and His Word did not come from television sound bites. For that matter – though I spent many hours in church – it didn’t merely come from pulpits or the classroom. It came from a real life journey with God. I have ministered in churches of many kinds: Catholic, Mennonite, Brethren, Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Seventh Day Adventist, Assemblies of God, Church of God, Church of God in Christ, Independent, and the list goes on. I have slept in many of pastor’s homes and have eaten meals with people of many faiths.
As an IBM Certified Instructor I taught and had conversations with Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Atheists, Agnostics and others. My faith has often been challenged, and at times shaken. Within the Christian community, I have had lively and often heated debates, and have been molded and refined through the fire of testing. Aside from intellectual pursuits, my faith has been put through the crucible of real-life. I have faced trials and adversities that made me question God’s faithfulness, I have lost young friends to sickness and death and I have been forced in a pragmatic sense to deal with the juxtaposition of a loving God in an unjust and evil world. I have even stared down ostensible contradictions and struggled to reconcile my belief in a perfect God in the light of my flawed understanding.
So, since it is so popular to get offended – and since the powers-that-be seem to believe the world should be offense free – allow me to express my outrage to the modern entertainment and information industry. Until you have been where I have been, and gone through what I have gone through, please leave your self-righteous and omniscient views about religion at home. Stick to talking about the things you know about. Now if you would like to truly explore a life of faith instead of exhaling shallow worn-out platitudes and inept arguments, I am happy to have that conversation.
Father help my readers truly know You for themselves and help them not to be drawn away by lofty sounding words that have no foundation in truth. Bless them today, in Jesus Name. Amen!