Several years ago, I was watching an episode of Hardball with Chris Matthews. The show was a conversation about the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision of the US Supreme Court. Matthews observed, “The American public has accepted the Court’s ruling on Brown v. Board of Education that integrated the public schools.” He then asked, “Why has the American public not accepted Court’s decision about abortion?” No one had an answer. I do.
Recently, I’ve read articles that explain why many young ministers are leaving denominations for ministry in independent churches. Through the decades I have watched as many talented ministers have separated themselves from the Church of God for a variety of reasons. I would like to offer an explanation of why I have not jumped ship.
As a child reared in Pentecostalism I was fed a steady diet of apocalyptic pre-tribulation rapture dispensationalism. As a young adult studying for ministry I read all of the required books to properly understand the “last days” – The Dake Annotated Reference Bible, the books of Hal Lindsey, commentaries by John Walvoord, and J. Dwight Pentecost’s Things to Come. By the time I was in my late twenties I had rejected the dispensational scheme.
I support religious freedom laws because I support the free expression of religion. The free expression of the Christian faith requires that I “show hospitality to strangers.”
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it (Hebrews 13:2).
I once saw a “Jesus” (a man dressed in costume) walking the streets carrying a sign that declared, “Jesus shed his blood for you.” While I understand the significance of that profound statement, I am forced to wonder “What does that mean for someone who doesn’t know the story?” In other words, in our post-Christian, biblically illiterate, and theologically uninformed society, how is that statement interpreted by unknowers and unbelievers? During this Holy Week and season of Easter, how can I best proclaim the Gospel?