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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I'm A What?

I did a sample writing submission yesterday for a Christian OnLine/InPrint publication. After choosing a topic from a random selection and putting together a 256 word piece on 'Evangelical' I got to thinking.  Now according to my wife, Faith, me thinking usually leads to some kind of unusual things happening.  Oh yeah, before I forget to mention this little detail, 'Yeah, I'm a Believer!'  Another thing I should mention, and that is that my wife says that I don't play well with others.  Go figure!  Well, onward with wherever I was headed, if I can just remember where that was.  Anyways, I was led (by the Spirit of course!) to take the topic of my choice in the direction of what I've experienced people's reactions are sometimes in regards to not only 'Evangelical' but quite a few Biblical positions that Born Again Believers should hold.  Let's face it, most folks automatically get a mental image of people rolling around on the floor with snakes wrapped around them when you mention the word 'Evangelical.'  Back in the late seventies I was stationed at 32nd Street Naval Station in San Diego CA, and the pentacostal movement was running rampant.  Some of the more extreme practices they declared to be true signs of being filled with the Holy Spirit contributed in large to them being referred to as 'holy rollers.'  Here's the deal, a good many people don't even know what an 'Evangelical' actually, from a Biblical perspective, is and should be.  Going further with that line of thought, more than several times in my life, for a specific purpose, I've asked people I knew were professed Christians if they were 'spirit filled.'  The response was almost always twofold.  First, a look of anything from confusion to revulsion, followed by the assertion that they were 'not that kind of Christian.'  My response to their response, which for the most part I was able to keep to myself, (see wife, I can play well with others, sometimes), was something along the lines of, 'What other kind of Christian is there?'  Now before we go any farther, I really think that we all need to have the same understanding of two very important words that are misused most of the time.  The word 'stupidity' to me means either not desiring to have knowledge of any given subject or choosing not to use that knowledge correctly or both of the above.  Let's follow that one with the word 'ignorant'.   I've always been comfortable with  'ignorant' having the meaning of 'not having knowledge of' any given subject.  Both of these conditions interfere with Spiritual growth, and just about any other kind except maybe physical growth.  One of these conditions is a lot easier to correct than the other, but the easy one to fix sometimes leads to the other one.  I'm okay with someone being ignorant, because to me, being ignorant isn't any kind of character flaw, or mental deficiency.  It's just someone who hasn't had either the opportunity or the need to gain knowledge about something.  Being stupid though, that's a whole different animal!  Most people are stupid by choice. (Oops! Maybe my wife is right about my not playing well with others after all!)  The point of all of this word meaning trivia is that a good many people automatically assume what something means.  These assumptions are generally based on everything from the rumor mill to handed down tradition to bad information to just being ignorant of the issue.  What will take someone from being ignorant to being stupid is when they have the chance to correct their understanding of something, and then choose not to.  I think of this as 'basking in their ignorance' which quickly locks that person into a cycle of stupidity.  Now let's get back to what we started with, the word 'Evangelical' and what that really means and how it applies, or should apply, to any and all Born Again Believers.  If you go to your dictionary, I use the Oxford American Edition, and look up the word 'Evangelical' you might be surprised with what you find.  I'm not going to do the direct quotation thing here, but here's the gist of it.  An 'Evangelical' is one who believes that  salvation is by faith for the atonement CHRIST made for sin with the shedding of HIS blood.  It follows that an 'Evangelist' is one who 'Evangelises'.  The apostle Paul instructed Timothy to ' the work of an Evangelist...'   (II Timothy 4:5 NKJV) Being an 'Evangelical' is NOT a denominational thing, but then according to Scripture, being recognized as being anything except  Christian is NOT a denominational thing either.  What it all boils down to is this one thing, read your Bibles.  I have a piece I put together that I titled Tests of the Scriptures for our group meetings here in Montana.  The reason I did was to make sure that every person who is involved in our studies and meetings are able to test every single thing I've put together for study with the Scriptures themselves.  I tell everyone not to take anything I or anybody else says as truth if it doesn't stand up to being tested by the Scriptures, because we have a promise from GOD that the Scriptures are perfect.  Don't be offended, are even more important, caught unawares, if we ever meet face to face and I ask, 'Are you an Evangelical?'  Again, read your Bibles!  (If you want a copy of Tests of the Scriptures, contact me using one of the links below and I'll either Email it to you or send you a hard copy)

GOD Bless you for putting up with me today!                           Terry a.k.a. k2montana

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