Monday Musings for April 16, 2018

Good morning, Musers,

I spent 2 ½ hours in a dental chair this week, but during a “break” ( … you know… a time when there were fewer than four hands in my mouth…) the dental assistant asked me what I did for a living. Now, it’s difficult to describe what I do… even when my mouth is not numb. But I gave it the old college try.

“I work in Christian apologetics.”

“What’s that?” she asked.

What’s that indeed.

After she figured out that I was some sort of a Christian, she told me that she attends an Assemblies of God church… and she asked me if we were involved in any missions — which is a great litmus test. So, I shared a little about the four churches that we help out in Kenya (and which have subsequently taken the “Mainsail” name) — and then we connected as brethren… but the idea of apologetics fell flat. All I could do was give her my web address and invite her to poke around on our website.

Every day, people I don’t know visit the Mainsail Ministries website. In fact, over 500 a day do so — and from every corner of the globe. They view over 1200 pages per day — that’s about a half a million a year — and although I hear back from relatively few, maybe I’ll hear from her.

Either way, it is great to bump into “different flavored” believers out there in the world. As I have matured in Christ, I have learned to appreciate people who believe differently than I do on secondary issues… but who are “in Christ” nonetheless. Now, no one is “in Christ” unless Christ is in them. But I think many Evangelicals take the gate — which is narrow by definition (Matthew 7:13) — and make it narrower still. To them I say, preach the Gospel and get out of the way.

It’s a happy coincidence that I ran into someone on the Charismatic end of the spectrum, though, because today I am going to talk about people on the opposite end — the Calvinists. Those of you who have been with me a while know that I love to create line graphs to describe the things, and I’m doing that today. So, picture Charismatics on the left with Reformed people on the right… and I see myself (and many of you) somewhere in the middle.

The conversation I had with the dental assistant illustrates the difficulty of telling people what kind of Christian you are. It’s awkward to do it directly. You have to do it in terms of the kind of Christian you are not. I am not Charismatic… and I have reasons for this. I am also not Reformed… and I have reasons for this. But if I tried describing my Christian particulars directly and without contrast, we’d be here all day.

Anyone who’s read a majority of the articles on my website (~ 450) understands what type of Christian I am… and that’s quite an investment! But many eyes do fall on my articles, and I am delighted to hear from believers of any stripe. Eventually, we will all gather in heaven… and we’ll have a laugh over the secondary issues that many of us went to the mat to defend! I just hope that Jesus is laughing with us.

To read the article referenced above, visit the link below.

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