3:23 PM Hey folks. Sorry I’m not blogging as much as I used to. I’ve been overwhelmed with teaching responsibilities this week and other “stuff” (if you know what I mean). A week ago Monday I spoke to a group of pastors in Annapolis about the need for unity in the cause of the Gospel. My text was the entire book of Philippians! One pastor asked me a very good question: “How far can we go, Dave? We can’t compromise basic doctrines of the Christian faith in order to cooperate with others, can we?”
The answer is simple. I think the New Testament is very clear about this. The fact is that you can attend churches in America today where the ministers are traitors to the cause of Christ. Jesus described them as wolves (heretics) in sheep’s clothing. Paul told the Ephesian elders, “Even from your own numbers men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away the disciples after them” (Acts 20:30). It’s a tremendous strategy of the Evil One – angels of light appealing to us through deception. No doubt about it. Philippians does not teach unity at all costs. So please do not say that I teach we are to put our brains in park or neutral when we become followers of Jesus. Pastoral ministry begins with an inventory of the enemy’s strength and tactics. So says Paul in Phil. 1:9 (love must be controlled by knowledge and full discernment). So if we desire true Christian unity, we must stand up and fight for the truth, taking the great doctrines of God out of mothballs and hurling them back at Satan.
As all of you know, there’s a trend among evangelicals to “seek first the kingdom of America” rather than “the kingdom of God.” I encourage us all to be true defenders of doctrine by refusing to put our faith in anything other than Jesus and the radical, self-sacrificing, Calvary-style mustard seed kingdom that He established through His blood. It is absolutely scary to hear the things certain evangelicals are saying about their favorite candidate for president. No doubt about it – the nation is looking for a savior, a messiah to bail us out of our ills. Every candidate who is vying for the nation’s top job claims to have THE answers to all of life’s questions. “Our opponents say this, but the REAL answer is ….” Folks, I’m a citizen of a different country (Phil. 3:20), and I am here for only one purpose, and that is to be a full time ambassador of the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He is the hope of the world. Our only real security is in Yahweh. As I mentioned at the outset, I have a hard time justifying all the pom-pom waving I see in light of Philippians’ call for all Christians to humble themselves and put their complete faith and trust in King Jesus. I’m convinced that it is only when we foreswear all nationalism and ANY human means of advancing God’s kingdom that we will find our true identify as followers of Jesus.
Live for the kingdom!