April 16, 2014
I am thinking of doing a sermon called, “Sheep or Sheeple.” I hear the term sheeple a great deal by political pundits, but it may be even more fitting in the realm of theology. Which shepherd do you follow and wose voice do you hear, Jesus or your denom/nondemon? Do you even know what your particular sect teaches and could you defend that teaching in a debate using the Bible or could you only parrot what you have been told by your sect leaders? Is there anything you can even parrot?
I have come across so many people who have no clue as to the doctrine of their group. I met one Lutheran woman who thought I was talking about MLK when I asked her if she believed what Luther taught about sola fide, sola scriptura and sola gratia, I did not know who Wesley was or what he preached until I went to a Baptist bible college though I was raised a Methodist. I have had people argue with me over a particular issue or doctrine and when I hand them my bible and ask them to prove me wrong or at least show me where they get their belief they can’t do it, but they know it is in there and I am wrong.
Others bounce from sect to sect like the elusive butterfly of love jumping through numerous theological hoops with no problem. Even would be preachers will list numerous groups they are willing to serve even though those groups have several doctrines that are poles apart.
Jesus said that His sheep would hear His voice and they would not follow another so why do so many people hear so many divergent voices and hold so many diverse views? He is truth and the Holy Spirit was sent not to have a traveling salvation miracle show, but to lead us into ALL truth and there is only one truth about any issue, not muliple choice.
I am thoroughly convinced that if people would use their Bible to critique the doctrines of their sect there would be fewer sects and what remained would be more closer to the Lord and the Word. He will judge us by what He said and we will be saved by His grace and mercy of method, if you please, not by what some theologian said.
Challenge your faith. I am not called a Maverick by my peers for nothing. I have had to challenge my own faith many times over the years and have changed some views as well as how I present truth. I am still a work in progress, but by His grace I have made some progress and I am not content with where I am now. I want more of Him and what He wants to do in me to server Him. I am a sinner saved by grace and imperfect. I want to exhort you, not condemn. Seek truth and make those who teach you accountable to stick to the truth and not opinion, hearsay or emotional bombastics. If you have a Bible then you can ask the Author to teach you and guide you into truth and out of error or to avoid it. He dis ordain pastor teachers in Eph 4, but He also expects you to try the spirits and to study to show yourself approved of God as a workman that needs to not be ashamed RIGHTLY dividing ot intepreting His Word. Will you be ashamed at the BEMA if you are a Christian or before the Great White Throne if you are not? Both sessions of shame can be avoided. Please work at it for your own benefit. Maranatha!!
Hmm, looks like I already did the sermon I was contemplating. 😉
April 9, 2014
Everybody is slandered even the good. – Robert E. Lee
1 Peter 3:14-16
14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. KJV
General Lee may be the only man who was respected by friend and foe alike to have his honor defended by both. It is doubtful that much was ever said against him that was believed and the speaker of it was not soundly rebuked for saying it. Even after war there were those would have elected him President. There has never been a man since Washington of higher character or abilities elected to that office.
There was one instance when someone asked him what he thought of a man that had highly criticized him. He gave a gracious response praising the man’s qualities. Lee was then asked how he could give such a glowing report for a man who had spoken so harshly. Lee replied that he had been asked what he thought of that man, not what that man thought of him! That takes grace, meekness and humility to say that!
The greatest quality of Lee was that he was a devoted Christian and it is what made the valiant warrior, grand orator, brilliant statesman and educator. He walked the talk so that no matter what others said of him he could endure it with grace because he had a good conscience and knew all they said was false and meant for evil.
As we seek to follow in the footsteps of our Lord and be an apologist for Christian values, we must not only talk the talk, but we must walk the walk that Lee so clearly models for us. Indeed, Christ endured false accusation and suffered unjustly and we should be prepared to do the same.
Sanctify or set apart the Lord in your heart as the holy Sovereign that He is allowing truth to reign in your life both in speech and deed. Know how to share that truth with others even the ones who despise, accuse and even abuse you. Speak the truth in love leaving rancor and bitterness behind lest you mar and obscure the truth by acting like those who hate you.
In your apologetics for your Christian faith you must be gracious and not brawlers so that they can only accuse you falsely. Let our virtue illuminate the truth and when we walk the walk we can let evil talk and rejoice even when reviled. Maranatha!!