Why We Do What We Do

Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”  John 14:21

My friend John Henderson sent a message recently to his email list, and it very accurately reflects what drives me and many others who are in the middle of this spiritual battle with Satan’s minions who are busy trying to destroy the church from within.  I thought I would share this with you as well.  Christians who are solely interested in the truth of God’s word, and could care less about losing friends, will relate to this.  Oh, we do want to keep rather than lose friends, but certainly not if we have to compromise in any way in order to please others.  That is not and never will be our mission, God willing.  As John states at the end, “My time is short and I cannot waste what remains on mundane things.  There is a final judgment just ahead.”

By John Henderson:

I use emails and online posts primarily as a ministry to which I feel called by God and to which I am deeply committed.  It is not a ministry I chose for myself but came to realize I should join with those who share a deep concern for the authority and integrity of the Scriptures and the traditions of the evangelistic movement in general and the Wesleyan holiness movement in particular..

There came a point in these my latter years where the departures and compromises from Biblical doctrine and tradition among Wesleyans and other evangelicals I had observed over time had come to a head and had erupted mainly in the form of the emergent church movement where the Scriptures were questioned, the divinity of Christ was challenged, Eastern and New Age mysticism was replacing Christian worship, and a Biblical stance on sinful behaviors and attitudes such as homosexuality were being openly softened.

I came across a group of like-minded Christians through a Facebook site, Concerned Nazarenes. It is a Nazarene group that includes a coalition of Christians from several Wesleyan denominations and is in fellowship with like-minded Christians of non-Wesleyan groups.  It seemed right that I should identify with them.

Our only objective is the protection, defense, proclamation, and preservation of Biblical truth.  We are not concerned with personalities and never attack persons themselves.  We only address the content and context of what leaders, writers, and others among us and elsewhere state or write for public consumption.  Names often come up in connection with one’s own statements and we do not hide it because they have not hidden their own identity.  In spite of that, we labor to avoid engaging in character assassinations and the use of ad hominem methods.[1]  We will bend over backwards if necessary before we will do that.  At the same time, we will not, by way of illustration, redefine a mugger as a troubled victim of society and we will not kowtow to those preaching heresy as misguided saints.  They speak for themselves and we do not seek to smooth over what they reveal of themselves by their own words and actions.

On the other hand, we typically receive responses from leaders and others using ad hominem methods where we are personally attacked in some apparent attempt to avoid dealing with issues they have no Biblical answers for.  I am not aware of one instance where those who disagree with us have actually engaged us in objective debate.  I am, however, aware of several instances where we have been refused participation in objective and public discussions that include mutually respectful appeals to legitimate (Biblical) authority—or whatever other authority they want to appeal to.  The characteristic responses we receive instead are zingers, insults, and false (un-supported) accusations—often against our own personal characters.  We are more likely to be shut off than faced; especially if there is a chance others may observe or become aware of the exchanges.  We are unafraid of open public discussions but are usually refused when we have offered it.

A common criticism of us is that we are troublemakers.  That means that we have raised serious questions about important changes in our denominations and churches that we are expected to accept on the basis of their unconditional authority.  They have never answered our questions on any topic where they have offered evidence that agrees with the inerrant Scriptures.

Those of us who do not unquestionably accept major changes in doctrine and practice among us are then branded as troublemakers.  As such “troublemakers” we are not allowed a place at the table of ideas.  That means that we must put forth our message in other ways.  This is one of my own efforts to hold forth the light of Truth as it is in Christ and His Scriptures. I care for nothing else and have no personal agenda in these matters.

Some say we think of ourselves as sole possessors of truth. It is not that at all.  We are possessed by the Truth and choose to not deviate from it but to stand by it at any personal cost.  We know that the only truth is in Christ and that the Bible is totally true without exception because He is its Author.  No man and no system can stand above that.

All of what I write of these kinds of topics follows this principle.  I am committed to it.  I believe it to be what God has given me to do.  My time is short and I cannot waste what remains on mundane things.  There is a final judgment just ahead.  We shall all be there.

If you are comfortable with that, I welcome you to my email list.  If you are not comfortable with it, please let me know and I will honor your wishes without prejudice.

P.S.   You might see this letter or something like it in the future if I add another group.


[1] Ad hominem: Attacking an opponent’s character rather than answering his argument; or, appealing to one’s prejudices, emotions, or special interests rather than to one’s intellect or reason.

 

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