Hi to my Forum Friends,
In the discussion begun last week by Chick, titled "Why Should Someone Be Banned?" -- the focus began to wander from that original issue and became a discussion basically questioning if Christian believers should evangelize and if believers should refute false teachings brought to the Religion Forum by false and/or cult religion followers.
In an earlier post within that discussion, I wrote, "I will say this -- I wish more conservative Christians would break one habit -- that of being too passive. That is the one complaint I have long had with conservative Christians -- their reluctance to speak up and defend our faith in public. To those who do, I offer a big 'Atta boy!' or 'Atta girl!' for your efforts in sharing the Gospel with others -- and for your efforts in refuting false and cult teachings."
And, Frog challenged me on this, "I have met very few 'conservative Christians' (I mean this as what your definition is, apparently, and not Christians in general, since I assume you mean those who feel as you do) who were too passive, or even passive at all. The ones who "speak up and defend our faith in public" -- "share the Gospel with others" and make "efforts in refuting false and cult teachings" -- often steam roll others' beliefs and turn people off to religion.
My response to Frog was, "You have hit the nail on the head! That is exactly what I am trying to do -- turn people OFF religions -- and get people turned ON to having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If I can do that for even one -- I have been successful as an evangelist."
Then, Chick asks me, "Bill, what about that one person you lead away from eternal life in Christ due to your judgmental ways, and your misinterpretation of scriptures? You bring it across as (if) your belief is the only correct belief."
No, Chick, the Bible is the only true, infallible source of belief and faith. I only try to interpret it to the best of my abilities. And, I consult the teachings of many others who have much more knowledge than me -- to arrive at what I consider to be a good interpretation of any given Scripture passage or verse.
Even though I cannot say that I have a full understanding of all the Bible (in this life, I will never have a full understanding) -- I do believe that my Biblical Christian Doctrines, i.e., my Statement of Faith, is right on target. And, my Statement of Faith is based 100% on the Bible:
1. The Deity of Jesus Christ -- God incarnate -- fully a man; yet, fully God.
2. The Trinity -- God eternally existing; manifested (revealed) in three persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
3. The Bible -- Is the inspired Written Word of God and is the sole authority for Christian faith, salvation, and our Christian life.
4. Salvation by Grace -- By the grace of God you are saved, through faith in Jesus Christ -- plus nothing else.
5. The Resurrection of Christ -- He rose from the dead, that we may also be resurrected into eternal life.
6. The Gospel -- The birth, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ according to Scripture.
7. Heaven and Hell -- Both are real places and are the only two eternal destinations available to all mankind.
Chick, even though you tell us that you are no longer a believer -- can you tell me that you disagree with any of these?
If so, which ones -- and why? To just say that you do not believe a statement, has no foundation -- unless you can tell me what you do not believe, why you do not believe it, and what source of information you based that understanding upon.
To say you don't believe any one, or all, of those statements -- just because you do not like me; well, that and $2 will get you a cup of coffee.
Chick, you tell me, "Bill, what about that one person you lead away from eternal life in Christ due to your judgmental ways, and your misinterpretation of scriptures?"
Chick, that is a very serious claim, for we are speaking of a person's eternal life. If you are saying this just as a way to cast a stone at me -- that is fine. We will just chalk up one point for Chick.
However, if you are serious and honestly know of someone who has been led astray -- you and I both owe this person a chance to know the truth.
So far, I do not know of anyone I have led astray. If you do, please tell me. In this request, I am extremely serious. Now, I am not talking about someone who tells us, "When I was a teenager, I went to church -- but, all those hypocrites drove me away." I am speaking of someone who is, or was, a serious seeker -- or a true Christian -- who has turned away from God because of my writings. I cannot express to you how serious this is -- if it is true.
This I can share with you. Over the years that I have been writing my Friends Ministry eNewsletter, I have had folks tell me that they had begun to pull away from their faith -- but, reading my e-mails helped them get back on track. I have Friends who tell me they have shared my writings with other friends -- for they feel that my writing can help their friends.
I have had people request my PowerPoint presentations created for Bible studies. The most recent, a pastor Friend I have not seen in a few years. He is on my mail list and recently asked to have the presentations e-mailed to him to share with his church fellowship. That, I will do for anyone who wants these Bible studies: "Inaugural Study - We Believe" -- "It All Began With Creation" -- "End Times Bible Study - Week One" -- and "End Times Bible Study - Week Two."
Chick, in the 20 plus years I have been doing Christian writing -- I know of no one that I have led away from or drove away from the church. But, sincerely, if you do know of such a person -- please tell me. And, I will request that you Private Message me and I will give you a way that person can contact me -- or you can give me a way to contact that person -- to allow us to clear up any misunderstanding.
Believe me, Chick, a person's eternal life is NOT something either you or I want to play with -- so, if you honestly know such a person, please put me in contact with him/her -- or have that person Private Message me. I will truly appreciate it.
God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,
Hi to my Forum Friends,