Setting Limits

A Testimony

This website exists to communicate biblical truth, to the lost and to those who walk in Christ. That is our Christian duty to our sovereign Lord.

One of these truths is the Gospel of Salvation. In the four Gospels, we learn details of our Savior's earthly ministry and of His atoning death that made salvation and regeneration possible for all those called by God to eternal life. The Pastoral Letters explain how these Truths apply to believers and address doctrinal and other errors that cropped up in the earliest days of the Church.

Though all the 66 books of the Christian Bible contribute to our understanding of God and His salvific design, the Gospel itself is stone-ax simple and can be spelled out in a very few verses. Paul did this for the church at Corinth, when he wrote these few lines:

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
-- (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) [My emphasis]

In my own service, I have found it helpful to first explain why the person(s) to whom I am speaking desperately needs to seek God's mercy and forgiveness. It is not unusual that I find myself "preaching to the choir," as it were, to someone who believes himself to be securely positioned in the Body of Christ. Whether that be the case, only God can know for certain. In such cases, I find it helpful to ask the other party to explain to me what it means to be saved and how he came to be in that condition. In his reply, I usually am able to discover clues that help me to design my response.

In my earliest days in the Body of Christ, I burned with zeal to learn all that I could of my Lord and the faith once delivered to the saints. My relationship with my charismatic pastor was that of apprentice to master. He would take me along when he ministered in other charismatic congregations and assemblies, often introducing me as "missionary" and occasionally as one blessed with the gift of healing through prayer and the laying on of hands. After a time, I was asked to take on the duties of pastor in a small church. I was interviewed and again offered the position, but delayed my reply until I had had time to seek the will of God in the matter. I prayed and prayed over this issue for nearly three full days until I received what I believed was an answer. The answer came not as an oracle or in a flash of lightning, nor even in any audible manner. It was just a strong, very strong, sense that this was not to be. And so, in God's good wisdom, I was spared from leading others along a path strewn with errors -- for I was still young in the faith and not truly prepared to look after a congregation.

Not too long after that, I was led away from charismatic worship into old-time fundamental evengelicalism, where I remain to this day. In the early 1990's I discovered the cyber world and soon gravitated to a believer's newsgroup. From there, I "graduated" to the old Internet Relay Chat (IRC) net, then to the EFNet, back to IRC and, finally, what we now call the Internet -- thanks to Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Being retired, I had all the time in the world and devoted many hours every day to apologetics and cyber-evangelism. The godly people with whom I interacted on a daily basis and the apologetic experiences helped me to form my personal conservative, evangelical systematic theology. After years of banging my head against the resistance of those who came aboard Christian chat sites for the sole purposes of assaulting the Word of God and attacking those who stood firm on it, I grew weary of the battle and withdrew for a time.

I was born into a Catholic family and raised as an active member of the Roman Church. After devoting countless hours to fruitless exchanges with well-prepared defenders of Romanism and hopeless wannabees, I believe I had been exposed to just about every imaginable heretical doctrine and practice of that apostate megacult. I saw little value in continuing to bang my Bible against the stone walls of their heathen Romish beliefs, so I determined to serve my Lord in other ways. Nowadays, I consider myself to be a polemist, seeking out and exposing the lies that are the foundation of Catholicism and trying to guide those who wear Roman chains out of the darkness of that cult. After doing what I am able, I leave it to my God to determine whether to call a person into the light of His grace.

I believe that believers are to take the Gospel to the lost, and I also believe it our Christian duty to expose and confront doctrinal error. (Ephesians 5:6-13) I do not believe that the Christian's polemic work ends with identifying and denouncing error. What point is there in pointing the finger and crying, "You are wrong!" -- unless one explains why he is wrong and helps him to discover God's truth? And so, in a sense, the polemist is also an apologist.

I often cite Scripture in my writing, to support my arguments but resist tossing out proof texts, which is a favored way for the Romish church and her defenders to shore up their false and groundless doctrine.

1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
-- 2 Timothy 4:1-4 [My emphasis]

In my polemics and earlier apologetics work, I was not at all averse to hoisting all sails and charging directly at the opposing forces with all guns blazing. As often as not, those random shots had no impact in the targetted area. I became as adept as my Catholic opposition in using ad hominem tactics. The exciting interplay often was diverting, but I wonder whether much of it served our Lord's purposes compared to how much it served merely to entertain us. These days, I generally avoid ad hominem in preference to using other methods to guide and educate those able to endure reading my studies. I am not convinced that God is glorified by invective and personal attacks. On the contrary, I believe that we better serve Him by disengaging from interaction with the disrupters and devoting our efforts to some more godly labor.

17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
-- Romans 16:17-18

Though I am blessed with an abundance of free time, I have little interest in squandering minutes and hours in fruitless battle with the enemies of my God. I choose to interact or not, according to criteria that I have established for myself. I will give freely of my time and energy to those who seem sincere in their desire to resolve some issue involving their faith or beliefs, but only if I believe myself qualified to properly respond. It is not unusual for me to refer a correspondent to some other person whom I believe better qualified to help. I have little patience for those whose only purpose seems to be to disrupt or divert an exchange away from godly issues to some that better serve the prince of this age.

10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.
-- Titus 3:10-11

In closing, I stress that the above are my observations in regard to what and how I labor in my Lord's vineyards.

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