Theology is Bunk! — A Reply, Part 1

Almost one month ago, Mr. Charles Cros­by, here­after referred to by his online moniker “yes2truth,” wrote a lengthy blog entry about me, which he enti­tled Rick Beck­man — The Pro­gres­sive ‘Chris­t­ian’ — Repent!.

His entry has gar­nered dozens of com­ments on his blog, was the spark which caused an email debate between Shawn McGrath & yes2truth, and I feel that I should final­ly reply to his mes­sage con­cern­ing me. I feel as though I and my beliefs have been mis­rep­re­sent­ed, so that will be my pri­ma­ry goal in writ­ing this. Bear in mind as you read this that I have no ill will toward yes2truth. I hope with all of my heart that he knows the sav­ing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that in Heav­en we will be able to fel­low­ship with­out divi­sion. I do not con­sid­er him an ene­my, nor do I con­sid­er myself at enmi­ty with him. I reply to him pub­licly to answer pub­lic claims, but I reply to him as a broth­er would, not as an adver­sary, with hopes of clear­ing away misconceptions.

This is mere­ly part 1 of a series. His blog entry is quite lengthy, so to keep this man­age­able and read­able, I will break up my reply into por­tions. For read­abil­i­ty, yes2truth’s writ­ings will be block quot­ed (all quotes from here), with my respons­es imme­di­ate­ly fol­low­ing. I wel­come yes2truth’s com­ments on what I will say here, as well as any­one else’s. 

Real­ly, if he knew what was good for him, it would be bet­ter if he ‘shut up shop’ and went home, rather than con­tin­ue with his pon­tif­i­cat­ing non­sense, for every word he spouts digs his hole of spir­i­tu­al dark­ness ever deeper.

To pon­tif­i­cate is to express opin­ions or judg­ments in a dog­mat­ic way, or to behave or speak with an exag­ger­at­ed author­i­ty. I have no doubt that I do this at times, and often I do neglect to cite Bible vers­es to back up cer­tain things, as my dad has point­ed out.

Yes2truth, it inter­est­ing that you have used pon­tif­i­ca­tion to accuse me of pon­tif­i­ca­tion. You seem to have claimed some author­i­ty over myself in decid­ing that it is bet­ter for me to shut up rather than encour­ag­ing me and entreat­ing me as a fel­low believ­er in Christ and the Bible to fur­ther study the Scriptures.

I have decid­ed to pub­lish this blog specif­i­cal­ly to counter Mr Beck­man’s blas­phemies against Jesus Christ.

To be hon­est, I was enjoy­ing being the sole pur­pose of some­one else’s blog! Free pub­lic­i­ty, peo­ple I don’t even know read­ing about me. But then I saw that the blog now has a mes­sage about Shawn McGrath as well, and so the nov­el­ty has worn off. :)

Yes, I am being light­heart­ed about this. I have no rea­son to be angry, and if I can’t be joy­ful and friend­ly in my reply, then it isn’t worth replying.

I would, how­ev­er, nev­er inten­tion­al­ly blas­pheme Jesus Christ. He bought me with His own pre­cious blood, and I owe Him my very life, let alone hon­or, praise, and exaltation!

He believes in ‘pro­gres­sive Chris­tian­i­ty’, and even has a blog under that banner,

No, do not have a blog under that ban­ner. Tim­o­th­y’s Bur­den oper­ates under the ban­ner of 2 Tim­o­thy 4:2. I assume you have mis­tak­en the title of this post for my actu­al tagline. In that post, I was ques­tion­ing what exact­ly Pro­gres­sive Chris­tian­i­ty was because some­one else had labeled me thus. I don’t label myself that, though I do think that I inter­pret the Bible pro­gres­sive­ly. That is to say, I inter­pret in a “going for­ward” man­ner. Spir­i­tu­al­ly, I start­ed out as a Bap­tist with a love of many dif­fer­ent tra­di­tions. How­ev­er, I have “moved on,” so to speak, in my study of the Bible and have real­ized that the tra­di­tions of man are unnec­es­sary in wor­ship­ing God. The abil­i­ty to study the Bible and to cast off past errors of inter­pre­ta­tion is progressive.

Yes2truth, I would say that you too are pro­gres­sive in this respect. Not con­tent to set­tle for the teach­ings of past gen­er­a­tions regard­ing the Trin­i­ty, you cast off that teach­ing and have moved on to what you believe now.

so what we need to do first, is find out what ‘Pro­gres­sive Chris­tian­i­ty’ actu­al­ly is, for I know that it is not a Bib­li­cal term, and this means it is man made, or of man and not of God. These terms which Bible intel­lec­tu­als and the­olo­gians reg­u­lar­ly use are what I call NVATs; short for No Val­ue Added Terms.

Yes2truth, you can­not say that man­made terms are of no val­ue when you are cre­at­ing a man­made term (NVATs) to describe them. Either man­made words are wrong, or they are okay, but the Bible does not give a com­mand­ment either way on this mat­ter, so is it real­ly some­thing you feel your time is well spent on?

In oth­er words they add noth­ing to Holy Scrip­ture but rather, dimin­ish it and in many cas­es make The Word of God to none effect.

I am not sure how this is pos­si­ble. It is true that man­made tra­di­tion can make the word of God of null effect (Mark 7:13), but Christ says noth­ing of using spe­cif­ic words.

These words–descriptions of types of faith like pro­gres­sive, fun­da­men­tal, or even liberal–are mere­ly descrip­tions. They are not intend­ed to add to the Bible, but serve as answers to the ques­tion, “How do you view the Bible?”

Per­son­al­ly, I view the Bible through a fun­da­men­tal, pro­gres­sive view­point. “Fun­da­men­tal” because I believe and uphold bib­li­cal truth, the inerran­cy of Scrip­ture, and so on. “Pro­gres­sive” because I am not bound by what our spir­i­tu­al pre­de­ces­sors believed and taught. I am free to learn from those men of the past, but am also free to learn the Scrip­tures from the unique van­tage point that is my own life. I do not claim to have a pri­vate inter­pre­ta­tion, but I do not claim to be bound by some­body else’s.

I will be deal­ing with more of these NVAT’s of Mr Beck­man’s later.

Is my vocab­u­lary real­ly that big a deal? It cer­tain­ly isn’t pos­si­ble to defend the use (or non-use) of adjec­tives via the scrip­tures, is it?

Now as I stat­ed ear­li­er, you won’t find the term Pro­gres­sive Chris­t­ian in Holy Scrip­ture and pro­gres­sive Chris­tian­i­ty is real­ly just a hotch potch of peo­ple who, to say the least, are not con­fi­dent in their belief, which in turn means they do not have a strong broth­er­ly rela­tion­ship with Jesus Christ.

If I fol­low your log­ic, is is wrong to use the descrip­tor “pro­gres­sive Chris­t­ian,” but it is accept­able to use the descrip­tor “hotch potch of peo­ple”? Is the Bible your stan­dard for vocab­u­lar or not?

On what basis do you claim that pro­gres­sive Chris­tians are weak in their faith? If I were weak in the faith, I would be being car­ried about by every wind of doc­trine, as the Bible says. I stand firm in my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that faith would remain strong even in the face of death.

You might know some weak-faith pro­gres­sive Chris­tians, and if you do pray for them. But please do not make such a broad state­ment lest you become guilty of bear­ing false wit­ness about people.

They are the near­est thing to Laodiceans that I have yet come across.

The Laodiceans were known for being nei­ther hot nor cold, but luke­warm, and it made God sick. If being a pro­gres­sive Chris­t­ian is even close to being a Laodicean, then I am not in any way a pro­gres­sive Chris­t­ian. Unlike the Laodiceans, I do not claim to be rich and in need of noth­ing. I dai­ly depend on Christ, and rec­og­nize that with­out Him, I have nothing.

Are you seek­ing to rebuke me, yes2truth, or the whole pop­u­la­tion of pro­gres­sive Chris­tians? I don’t speak for them, nor do they speak for me. If you want to rebuke me, at least find out a lit­tle bit more about me. I’ll even let you inter­view me if you want to straight facts about me. I’ve no prob­lem with this at all, and it is pre­ferred to being unnec­es­sar­i­ly grouped togeth­er with proges­sive Chris­tians in general.

They are repelled by peo­ple who know The Truth, and to know The Truth means to know Jesus Christ, so in turn they are repelled by peo­ple who know Jesus Christ. I will leave you all to deduce what this actu­al­ly means.

I love the Bible, I spend time every­day study­ing it, I love the Lord, I love His peo­ple. Like David, I hate every false way. I will leave you all to deduce what this actu­al­ly means.

Now in fair­ness to them they may be repelled by Bible bash­ers who still thump out The Ten Com­mand­ments from their pul­pits, and they are quite right to be repelled by these peo­ple, for they are just mod­ern day Gala­tian­ists, Judais­ers and legal­ists. That said there are some of us who do know The Truth i.e. Jesus Christ and quote only Holy Scrip­ture, not mean­ing­less ‘pro­gres­sive’ jargon.

Three more of yes2truth’s own NVATs: “Gala­tian­ists,” “Judais­ers,” and “legal­ists.” Each of those describe a group of peo­ple which I do not belong to, and they are adjec­tives which are not found in the Bible, just as “pro­gres­sive.” Yes2truth, would you be so kind as to let me know what the stan­dard is for using extra­bib­li­cal ter­mi­nol­o­gy so that we can have a more fruit­ful conversation?

Here though for the record, is a def­i­n­i­tion of what Pro­gres­sive Chris­tians are all about: “Pro­gres­sive Chris­tian­i­ty casts a very broad tent. All peo­ple are wel­come as affil­i­ates. Their fourth point invites: “.…all peo­ple to par­tic­i­pate in our com­mu­ni­ty and wor­ship life with­out insist­ing that they become like us in order to be accept­able (includ­ing but not lim­it­ed to): believ­ers and agnos­tics, con­ven­tion­al Chris­tians and ques­tion­ing skep­tics, women and men, those of all sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tions and gen­der iden­ti­ties, those of all races and cul­tures, those of all class­es and abil­i­ties, those who hope for a bet­ter world and those who have lost hope.” Most affil­i­ates prob­a­bly view reli­gious belief as a process — a search­ing for truth rather than estab­lish­ing truth. Most are prob­a­bly lib­er­al Chris­tians or post-Chris­tians who stress jus­tice and tol­er­ance above creedal beliefs.”

What a mouth­ful that is! Look­ing at that, I can see why God would be dis­pleased with pro­gres­sive Chris­tians! How­ev­er, I am not for cer­tain why it is wrong to accept those of “women and men … all races and cul­tures, those of all class­es and abil­i­ties, those who hope for a bet­ter world and those who have lost hope.”

I also would like to know where that def­i­n­i­tion came from, if you don’t mind. The Wikipedia gives quite a dif­fer­ent def­i­n­i­tion to pro­gres­sive Chris­tian­i­ty: “Pro­gres­sive Chris­tian­i­ty is the name giv­en to a move­ment with­in con­tem­po­rary Amer­i­can Protes­tant Chris­tian­i­ty which pro­motes social jus­tice as a Chris­t­ian imper­a­tive, and oppos­es the notion that Chris­tians must nec­es­sar­i­ly take a polit­i­cal­ly con­ser­v­a­tive or ‘right-wing’ stance on issues such as pover­ty, racism, and the envi­ron­ment. In doing this, it focus­es on bib­li­cal injunc­tions that Chris­tians should live cor­rect­ly and fight injus­tice, and seeks to act on those injunc­tions in the pub­lic sphere.”

Accord­ing to that, pro­gres­sive Chris­tian­i­ty calls peo­ple to love and jus­tice, two things which Christ empha­sized. As you will undoubt­ed­ly note, there are excep­tions to this, and that typ­i­cal­ly of those who would add to Scrip­ture their own teach­ings and tra­di­tions or who would deny its truths. The ene­mies of Chris­tians in the New Tes­ta­ment are almost always said to be with­in our own midst–our own teach­ers, pas­tors, men­tors, etc. Because of that, it is all the more impor­tant to try the spir­its to see whether they are of God, and to (like the Bere­ans) search the Scrip­tures dai­ly, to see whether what is being taught is actu­al­ly the truth.

Again, I remind yes2truth and the read­er that I do not claim to be a pro­gres­sive Chris­t­ian. I believe in jus­tice, in love, and in liv­ing peace­ably inso­much as it is pos­si­ble. If that is what pro­gres­sive Chris­tian­i­ty is, fine, but I am con­tent to be called sole­ly by Jesus’ name. If I were to claim and pub­li­cize all of the titles giv­en to spe­cif­ic beliefs that I hold, this blog would be noth­ing but a con­tain­er for them. I guess peo­ple just like names ’cause every sub­tle vari­a­tion of belief has its own title!

But just because a name has been applied to a belief does not make the belief unbib­li­cal, nor should it auto­mat­i­cal­ly group one per­son labeled a cer­tain way with every­one else who are labeled similarly.

Now, bear­ing the above Laodicean spew in mind (and I will return to this state­ment and exam­ine it sep­a­rate­ly and in more detail lat­er), this per­son, this Mr Beck­man thinks he knows more about Scrip­ture than a Son of God and yet anoth­er of his/their ‘pro­gres­sive’ mantras is “we val­ue the truth even though it can nev­er be ful­ly possessed”

I have the Bible, the com­plete writ­ten rev­e­la­tion of God, and study it dai­ly. Jesus Christ (the Truth) abides with­in me, and I in Him. I do not claim to know more than any oth­er Chris­t­ian, but I do not think every Chris­t­ian knows the same things. To be a son of God does­n’t mean to know all their is about God, but it does mean to be on a course of learn­ing about Him more and more each day. Whether or not you are more knowl­edge­able than I am, I can­not say.

Yes2truth, where did I say that I knew more than you or any­one else? I do not recall say­ing any­thing like that; if I did, I apol­o­gize, but I would like to be remind­ed of it if at all possible.

This state­ment is a lie and alone tells us they do not even know The Truth, nor do they under­stand it, nev­er mind ful­ly pos­sess it — I’m not even sure if ‘pos­sess’ is a cor­rect term in this sit­u­a­tion. What Mr Beck­man is also say­ing, even though he will nev­er ful­ly know The Truth, is that he knows more about Scrip­ture than some­one who does ful­ly know The Truth; a per­son who is and has been, taught direct­ly by God through His Word with­out the help or teach­ing of any man since the days of his discipling.

I do not make the claim to ful­ly know the truth, and while I am one with the Truth (Jesus Christ) I still learn more and more about Him every­day. His Bible con­tains a vast wealth of knowl­edge and wis­dom, and I look for­ward to learn­ing more and more of it all my days through the teach­ing and edi­fi­ca­tion of oth­ers as well as through per­son­al study.

If you have already fin­ished this jour­ney and have learned all there is to know, then I applaud you.

Do not be sur­prised nor tak­en aback by this state­ment for Holy Scrip­ture sup­ports it: 1 John 2:27 But the anoint­ing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anoint­ing tea­cheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. Please note too, that I boast in Jesus Christ and in Him alone; not in myself, nor in men nor in any religion.

In this we are agreed: God Him­self is the best teacher of the Bible there can be. But we can­not pre­sume that those John wrote to had no longer any need of teach­ers, for John him­self was teach­ing and instruct­ing them through his epis­tle to them. Paul writes in 1 Thes­sa­lo­ni­ans 5:11 that we should edi­fy each oth­er, and that is one of the won­der­ful aspects of being a mem­ber of God’s fam­i­ly. No mat­ter where we are at in the fam­i­ly, we can be com­fort­ed, encour­aged, and built up those brethren will­ing to do so.

Any­way, here is what he says: I will put his words in ital­ics, my words, from my web­site in bold includ­ing any Scrip­tures and my counter com­ments in stan­dard font.

We have just now arrived at the begin­ning of his reply to my actu­al com­ments, and I have already been mis­rep­re­sent­ed by a ques­tion­able def­i­n­i­tion of pro­gres­sive Chris­tian­i­ty. It is upon that shaky foun­da­tion which yes2truth continues.

I will be up front about the fact that I prob­a­bly won’t get too in depth in defend­ing the Trin­i­ty in this post. Much more thor­ough defens­es can be found on CARM.org, and I again refer you back to Shawn’s con­ver­sa­tions with yes2truth.

“A fel­low by the nick­name of yes2truth made the judg­ment that I was bib­li­cal­ly igno­rant. Oh, and that I am, for there is far more still yet to learn from the pages of Scrip­ture than would have even been pos­si­ble to have already learned in my lifetime.”

I will cor­rect him straight away here because he is attempt­ing to lay guilt (rather fee­bly) by accus­ing me of judg­ing him; com­ing to obvi­ous con­clu­sions is not judging.

Yes it is. It may not be a judg­ment that requires much thought or delib­er­a­tion, but it is a judg­ment nonethe­less. To judge some­thing is sim­ply come to a con­clu­sion or opin­ion regard­ing it. To call me bib­li­cal­ly igno­rant is as much of a judg­ment as say­ing that Chee­rios taste good or that Allah is a false god. Judg­ments don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly have to be “big” to be judgments.

I also note that I was­n’t being con­de­scend­ing when I said that you judged me. I was sim­ply stat­ing that you had arrived at the con­clu­sion that I was bib­li­cal­ly igno­rant. I did­n’t say that to fos­ter any sort of guilt with­in you, either.

You sure do claim to know an awful lot about me which there is no way that you would be able to know, such as my motives. If you’re sim­ply com­par­ing me to past expe­ri­ences, I won­der what you are hop­ing to gain from such gen­er­al­iza­tions? Take the time to get to know me and to find out my motives and rea­son­ings; look­ing at my con­clu­sions and then apply­ing the motives of oth­ers who arrive at sim­i­lar con­clu­sions is no way to go about this.

He is right though, for pro­gres­sives admit they will nev­er ful­ly grasp The Truth so he is only say­ing what we already know.

Again, I am grouped need­less­ly with pro­gres­sives. Yes2truth, why can you not reply to me personally?

“Oh the depth of the rich­es both of the wis­dom and knowl­edge of God! How unsearch­able are His judg­ments and unfath­omable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His coun­selor?” (Romans 11:33,34, NASB). None of us can claim to know the whole of truth. Our minds are tiny com­pared to the mind of God, and His word is a source of spir­i­tu­al nour­ish­ment which we must dai­ly feed upon, renew­ing our minds so that we will not be con­formed to this world.

“I vis­it­ed yes2truth’s web­site expect­ing typ­i­cal “I’m right; you’re all wrongâ€? divi­sive­ness, as is often seen on, for exam­ple, fun­da­men­tal Bap­tist, KJV-Only­ist web­sites (there are, praise the Lord, excep­tions; at one point in time, my site was one of them, but it was not one of the excep­tions). What I found when I got to his web­site, how­ev­er, was quite different.”

Ah, a lit­tle judg­ing of his own and attack­ing oth­er groups, so there is some life in that limp Laodicean lib­er­al heart of his.

Now I’m a lib­er­al? What is your basis for that judg­ment, yes2truth?

Here too he lays down his intel­lec­tu­al cre­den­tials by attack­ing KJV-Only­ist peo­ple. Now this bat­tle between those who love mod­ern abom­i­na­tions and those who love only the KJV dis­plays an emo­tion­al imma­tu­ri­ty and a lack of under­stand­ing in God’s Word. They don’t like what is writ­ten in The KJV so with sil­ly emo­tion­al knee jerk reac­tions they go look­ing for The Truth in a place where He can­not be found — mod­ern translations.

I would think you would appre­ci­ate mod­ern versions–many of them do not con­tain 1 John 5:7, which lat­er in this dis­cus­sion, we will see that you believe it has no place in the Bible. The King James Ver­sion, how­ev­er, con­tains this verse. If you believe the KJV con­tains the whole truth, what do you do with it con­tain­ing 1 John 5:7?

In the world they call it throw­ing out the baby with the bath water or cut­ting off your nose in order to spite your face. Futile! One good thing though, he found some­thing quite dif­fer­ent on my website.

I’m not quite sure I under­stand what you’re say­ing here. Is it futile to use mod­ern ver­sions? To argue against KJV-Only­ism? Or some­thing else?

I must be trip­ping over your NVACs (No Val­ue Added Clichés).

That’s it for “Part 1” of this response. There is still much to reply to, and first up for next time is his expla­na­tion of why I am a “man of tra­di­tion,” which you are sure to enjoy.

Yes2truth, if you are read­ing this, well, thank you. You are wel­come to com­ment, but please remem­ber if all you have to claim is “I know the truth, so you don’t,” you won’t get very far with me or any­one else. You have made a num­ber of illog­i­cal assump­tions that don’t hold up when exam­ined, and you have mis­rep­re­sent­ed me accord­ing to n inac­cu­rate def­i­n­i­tion of a move­ment I don’t even claim to be a part of.

Some­one who loves and knows the truth as pre­sent­ed in the Bible should­n’t com­mit such errors, for they bor­der on (or crossover into) the realm of lying or bear­ing false wit­ness against me.

Again, thanks for read­ing. I look for­ward to your reply.

3 thoughts on “Theology is Bunk! — A Reply, Part 1”

  1. Dear Rick:

    A very good reply so far and I am look­ing for­ward to a fur­ther analy­sis of Mr. Cros­by’s com­ments. It would be inter­est­ing to have Mr. Cros­by dis­cuss these issues with us in a live chat, we could per­haps bet­ter under­stand why he is so angry and still declares him­self as one who knows all the Truth.

    Shawn

  2. Well said Rick. Well said.

    I am also look­ing for­ward to your fur­ther analy­sis as well as any com­ments from Mr. Crosby.

    It’s real­ly frus­trat­ing to me to see a friend of mine attacked when there’s noth­ing I can do about it. I’m not versed enough in Scrip­ture (def­i­nite­ly a fault of mine) to respond to some­one who clear­ly is. I’m glad you’re not doing nothing.

    Any­way, I will be pray­ing that it will be fruit­ful. I’m not hold­ing out much hope for Mr. Cros­by because he seems to be set in his ways, but I’m still praying.

  3. Dear Rick,
    Broth­er, I can’t tell you how many times I come across guys like this that con­stant­ly beat you up for learn­ing and grow­ing up in the Word. I do not believe like most because I’ve allowed the Holy Spir­it to guide and direct me. So, when I get an inter­pre­ta­tion of scrip­ture, it is dif­fer­ent from the “tra­di­tion­al” way that it was taught to me orig­i­nal­ly. Since we are on the sub­ject, I’ll use this exam­ple. “The tra­di­tions of men bring the word of God to no effect.” Well, I used to think this was about the Word against Christ­mas or East­er etc. Now, I believe the tra­di­tions of men can be any­thing that we hold to that does­n’t allow a true flow of inter­pre­ta­tion of the Word. So, after years of sit­ting in a pew and lis­ten­ing to the “awe­some guy” behind the pul­pit, I start­ed to real­ize that I am awe­some too. I start­ed to real­ize that I have the same Jesus liv­ing in me as the Preach­er. I got turned off by the con­stant beg­ging for the tithe and real­ized that I did­n’t have to pay for my sal­va­tion, that it was already paid for by Christ. We have too much a mix­ture of Law and Grace in the church. The stone has got to be rolled away for us to real­ly expe­ri­ence our res­ur­rect­ed life. Lazarus could­n’t come for­ward until they moved the stone out of the way. The Law was writ­ten on stone and Jesus took the hand­writ­ing of ordi­nances which were against us from the begin­ning and nailed it to the cross. We have been made Right­eous (IN RIGHT STANDING WITH GOD) because of what HE did 2000 years ago. But for so long, the CHURCH wants to tell us how much we are dirt bags, sin­ners. The Bible does­n’t call us sin­ners any­more. Saints of God, Sons of God, joint-heirs of Christ, God’s chil­dren, in-Christ­ed ones are just a small few of what I see it call us. If we are the Body of Christ, then ought not the Body man­i­fest the Head. We have been made right­eous, holy, and with­out spot or blem­ish because God made us that way in the per­son and work of Jesus Christ. It’s NOT about us! We did­n’t do any­thing to earn it nor did we do any­thing to deserve it. It was a FREE GIFT OF GRACE! We need to move on from these per­son­al attacks like the one Broth­er Rick has encoun­tered. We need to come togeth­er and lift one anoth­er up in our Most Holy Faith. We must greet every­one with a Holy Kiss, not lit­er­al, but with a mutu­al under­stand­ing that we are both one with the Father. It isn’t US against THEM. We don’t fight flesh and blood. We are all broth­er and sis­ters in HIM and we need to stop this feud­ing. We all have the HOLY SPIRIT but ONE indi­vid­ual does­n’t have all the answers. But, I would much rather lis­ten to some­one who has put 100% faith in the Holy Spir­it to teach them rather than some­one who claims to know “the Truth” and has spent all their time lis­ten­ing to oth­er men who have been tossed to and fro with every wind of doc­trine. The Word of God is quick(life giv­ing) and pow­er­ful. Well, there have been many times I’ve sat in church and the mes­sage preached was not life giv­ing and was not pow­er­ful. It’s fun­ny, but the place we need to put on the whole armor of God is not when we go out in “the world” but when we are sit­ting in church.
    Thanks for stand­ing up to what you believe in and han­dling it in the way that you did. The ene­my of thought is con­stant­ly try­ing to move us out of our pro­fes­sion of faith in our­selves. “If you want to be like God…”, or “If you be the son.…” Remem­ber, we were made in His image and like­ness. Adam should have told the ser­pent to take a hike when the ser­pent told him he would be like God. Adam was already made like God, after his image and like­ness. Adam fell because he dis­be­lieved in who he was made to be. He bought into the great­est lie of all time. Jesus comes along to that same ser­pent, and tells the snake to take a hike, in so many words. “If you be the Son of God com­mand these stones to bread.” Jesus said, “man shall not live on bread but by every word that pro­ceeds out of the mouth of God. I ask this. What was the Word that Jesus was hang­ing onto in that spe­cif­ic moment of test. I believe he went back to the waters of bap­tism in the Jor­dan, where he had just came from and heard the Father’s words, “this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased!” Those were the words Jesus was hang­ing on to. The sweet sound of his father say­ing how proud he was and that Jesus was tru­ly His Son. It’s the same Words we should be hear­ing when some­one false­ly accus­es us. We are His sons and daugh­ters in whom he is well pleased and noth­ing or no per­son can ever take away. Praise God in the per­son and work of Jesus Christ.

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Rick Beckman