‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. ‘I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’ Jeremiah 29:11-14 NASB
I have not written in the last few days. I had to ask myself some hard questions. One of those questions was: “Am I showing the truth, or being a religious bigot?”
An opportunity to answer this question presented itself, today. So, now I can tell you what I have learned. I am not going to bore you with my testimony. Let my current life be my testimony. And I am a work in progress. But over these past two weeks, I have been struggling with how dogmatic my writing sounds.
I am by God‘s grace, and training, a researcher, and an analyst. I am very good at it too. I will not bore you with this, either. I say it so I can tell you this:
The difference between a researcher and a religious bigot is, the religious bigot will not accept that any other point of view, other than his own, is true. He will be so dug in that he cannot, and will not, even entertain conversation that will allow a different point of view.
The Religious Bigot believes that his answer, even if it contradicts hard evidence, or Jesus Himself, is actually the correct one. And the contradiction against Christ does not present a mental conundrum to him, either. The religious bigot will plot the curve then try to find data that supports it, or will bend the existing data to force it to agree with it. He has the answer before he knows the question. In his heart, he has cut out several things Christ has had to say about Himself, Salvation, and what it really means to follow Him.
A researcher will look at as much evidence he can find. He will weigh the evidence. He will let the evidence speak for itself. He will suspend his biases in order to see if something is hidden in the data that he would otherwise not choose to see. Even if that data represents a major threat to his understanding of things, he will look. If the shock doesn’t kill him, he will adapt to that truth. He knows the difference between a truth and an opinion of a truth, even in his own mental frame-work.
I have spent, literally, all my life researching and studying as many religions as I could find. I even attended many of their religious meetings in order to get a better understanding of them.
All my research has driven me back to some very basic truths. This has shown me the difference between what you call a fundamentalist and what I call a fundamentalist. A fundamentalist, in any religion, has boiled his faith down to things that are the bottom line of his faith. The American definition of a fundamentalist is actually the definition of a religious bigot.
Here was the hard part. There is only so much the human mind can comprehend when it comes to spiritual matters. There comes a time when you must rely on faith and hope.
In Christianity, I have discovered that, the gift of Faith comes from God alone. And when I rely on it, I am shown things that have been right in front of me all along, but did not have “The Third Eye” opened to it, yet.
Being a researcher, I am open to every possible interpretation of any event that you can imagine. I know that, if I have the truth, nothing can remove it from my heart. However interesting and entertaining that journey into another viewpoint is, I can test it against the baseline of revealed truth, and know it for what it is.
Am I dogmatic? Absolutely. What I have been writing about all this time is directly from the scriptures. There is no room for my opinion of it, or my interpretation of it. It is the truth as Jesus and the Apostles, and God have revealed it in the scriptures.
As a researcher, I want to hear other views. I am not afraid of differing opinions, or what others think is revealed truth. I can do this without my ego being attached to it because I have learned, in my return to Christ that “Truth is its own witness, and Time is the Judge of all truths.”
I am dogmatic over the things I have delved into, and have seen for myself are true. There are things that are true that I could never discuss in a church or over a pulpit. I have learned the hard way that, even though it is the truth, most people cannot fathom that it is true. I have discovered that, even things that are mentioned in the Bible are outright rejected by most American Christians.
But what I know, I must write about.. What I write about are truths as revealed in Scripture, and how God has applied it to my life, and my wife’s life. We are in total agreement over these things. We arrived at this over very different routs. She is my partner and my love, and we walk together in our calling.
WHAT THIS BOILS DOWN TO
It is a heart condition that will keep us from growing to be like Christ.
When you are saved, spiritually, you are complete. The Holy Spirit marks you as being a child of the Living God because of your faith, IN YOUR HEART, that Jesus Christ is who he said he is, and did what he said he will do. Your faith was born in your heart, after God placed the seed of faith in you.
Spiritually, you are complete. There is nothing lacking in you spiritually.
The reason you were not raptured when you were saved, is so that that spirit can take over your heart.
Here is a good explanation of this:
THE CONDITION OF THE HUMAN HEART
In Scripture, the heart is the seat of indwelling sin as well as its subject. It is from the heart that indwelling sin springs in a person’s experience. Indeed, sin has invaded as an enemy and now possesses the very throne of God himself. So says the preacher:
Ecclesiastes 9:3 This is the unfortunate thing about everything that happens on earth: the same fate awaits everyone; The hearts of all people are full of evil, and there is madness in their hearts during their lives—then they die.
This is a very good description of the heart. When you are saved, you are complete in the eyes of GOd. This is because the Holy Spirit now dwells in you. However, “When he [the Holy Spirit] comes, he will convict the world, and show where right and wrong and judgment lie. He will convict them of wrong…” John 16:8 (NEB). (Click the link, you will find a very well written article that covers this topic in-depth).
Being complete in the spirit is why you are saved. But the heart has to be Cleaned out of all its old habits. It is the heart that contains all our sin, impulses, evil and wayward living. If you really want to grow to be like Jesus, you cannot stay content being complete in the spirit, you will want God to do His heart surgery on you. Even if you know it might hurt.
I strongly recommend this book if you want a complete study of why this cleaning is part of the Grace of God:
“Grace: The Power To Change”, by Dr. James B. Richards, 1993 ISBN: 0-924748-07-9 Look it up at your favorite book dealer. CDB carries it.
So, if I am a dogmatic about anything, I am dogmatic about the lessons I have had to learn, by allowing the Holy Spirit to work in my life. It is hard work, and it comes only as we are willing to submit to these changes. It is a work I was never willing to do myself. But the Spirit of God compels me to submit to a work only He can do in me.
The fact that I am willing to change according to the will of God proves I am not being a religious bigot. I am very open to any change the Spirit of God needs to make in me so that I will end up being just like Christ, my Lord. I am willing to sacrifice anything and everything I love and hold dear, if it is what God needs me to do, if it will mean I get to be like Jesus. That especially includes all the hidden matters of my heart.
You must be willing to have your heart changed. Eventually the Spirit of God will tire of you quenching it. If, in your wisdom (Translates to Arrogance), you want to delude yourself into thinking that you do not need to change your heart, fine. My invitation is only to those who, like me, have discovered the Lordship of Christ. Jesus is more than a Savior. In order to understand the Lordship of Christ, a Christian must be teachable, and allow the Holy Spirit, not your opinion, to be the teacher.
Lets Be About It.
I love you,