Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Hobbs, Taz, and Chloe.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Above All ... Have Christ!

I will tell you what bothers me. Paul says in 1 Cor. 4:7 "For who maketh thee to differ [from another]?" The implied answer there is that it is God who makes us to differ, one person from another. Yet there are many people, who by their theology, end up answering that it is they, themselves, that make them to differ. And that bothers me.

Now, if you are a follower of my blog, you will know that I call myself a Calvinist. More accurately, I am a Reformed Baptist within the Southern Baptist Convention. I am SBC because I am convinced that it is the best vehicle available to us for reaching every corner of the world with the good news of Jesus Christ. The missions imperative and the sweet fellowship of like minded brothers and sisters in Christ makes me Southern Baptist.

But my views on God, Christ, salvation, indeed the whole world ... make me Reformed. Mostly, I am reformed because it makes me know who it was that made me to differ from other men. I am no better than anyone and worse than many. On my own I could not, ever, make myself different from the people around me. I know who made me to differ.

But, there are others, people who are NOT reformed, who also know who made them to differ. Now, there are many I have met, that I mentioned in my first paragraph, whose theology makes them answer that they made themselves to differ. But I am not talking about these folks right now. I am talking about those folks, who not being reformed, still know that their salvation is of the Lord, who have no hope of redemption apart from Christ alone. I am talking about those folks who know that faith is a gift from God and that apart from the finished work of Christ on the cross that there is nothing they have to offer towards their salvation. In short, I am talking those non-reformed people whose faith is in Christ alone.

As important as I think Calvinism is, I think it is more important that one be a Christian. What good is correct theology if you are wrong about Christ? What good is it to know all good doctrine about Christ if Christ does not know you? A system of theology, any system of theology, is nothing more than a way to put the doctrines of the Bible into an understandable way of thinking and by doing so, lead us closer to Christ. Any doctrine that does not draw you closer to Jesus is not worth the time it takes to explain it. Beloved friends ... listen to me ... have good doctrine, yes, even the best doctrine ... but have Christ first!

As for me, I am always against those people whose theology causes them to claim for themselves some of the credit for the work of God and thereby robbing God of some of His glory. I am always against those folks who teach heretical doctrines and teachings that lead Christians away from sound doctrine and true piety in Christ. But my hand of Christian fellowship is always extended to those who know who it is that made them to differ. To every person who knows their only hope is in Christ alone, I am a brother and a friend. A brother or sister in Christ is no bother to me at all.

2 Comments:

Anonymous James said...

John.

Thank you very much for posting this.

James

3:22 PM  
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

John,
Your a good man.

Cristina

8:42 PM  

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