Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Defining Who I Am?

After writing close to 600 posts on this site over the last 12 months, you may have clued in to what my theological bent is. Maybe so, maybe not! You will have discovered that I have implicit trust in a sovereign God. You hopefully will have realized that I'm committed to the innerancy of the Bible, God's Word. You will know that I believe that the only path to true peace, love and joy is through an intimate relationship with God's beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

But, you don't know my stance on many of the other tenets of the Christian faith. I'm going to spell out my position on some of them. You'll either agree, strongly disagree or assent to the fact that I'm entitled to my own opinion on some of these issues. Hopefully you won't write me off.

So, here goes...

I'm a Trinitarian who holds to the innerancy, in the originial autographs, of the Word of God, the Bible. I believe in the deity of Christ, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His substitutionary death, His bodily resurrection, His ascension into heaven and His imminent return. I believe that the Holy Spirit of God indwells every born-again child of God. We don't have to ask Him to come in. He takes up residence the moment we commit our lives to Jesus Christ. I believe that every believer should be filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit and that this is an ongoing experience. Christians can spring a leak so we need to "be being filled" with the Spirit as Paul wrote to the Ephesians.

I'm not a died-in-the-wool cessationist. I believe that the Holy Spirit can and does give supernatural gifts to the body of Christ according to His will. I don't believe that tongues is the initial evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit. I don't believe that physical healing was bought for everyone in Christ's atonement. Yes, God still heals but what about the millions of believers over the centuries who trusted God, lived godly lives and were not healed.

I'm not a five-point Calvinist and I'm not an Arminian. I'm somewhere down the middle even though my theology professor, Robert Duez, said that is not possible. I believe in the sovereignty of God. I believe in human responsibility. I believe that God is not willing that any should perish. I don't believe that God arbitrarily destines some for heaven and others for hell. I believe that He knows where we will spend eternity though. I don't buy into this "openness theology" that purports that God doesn't know everything we will do because He has given us a free will. Either He is omniscient or He is not. You can't be 75% omniscient.

I'm a premillenial dispensationalist! I'm a hymn-loving, church history buff who feels at home in most evangelical churches. I'm not a "name it and claim it" Word of Faith charismatic but a Jesus-loving traditionalist who is pretty old fashioned and black and white in most areas.

There...I've automatically alienated myself from many Christians. You've pigeon-holed me. Judged me. Put me in a box. Maybe you strongly disagree with me. Maybe you think I'm just a crazy, mixed up Christian.

Have I defined who I am? No, I've only stated what I believe. I'm defined by other criteria. My prayer is that I would be a compassionate, passionate follower of Jesus who is not ashamed of the gospel of Christ but is committed to living out my faith on a daily basis and sharing it with those who don't know Jesus. I want to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit! My prayer is that words like integrity, authenticity, honesty & transparency would be used concerning my character.

That's what will define me! Not what I believe but who I am! Any comments?

NOTE: Just because I believe what I do, I still love Christians at the opposite end of the spectrum theologically. I trust that this will be reciprocal. Let's expend our efforts on reaching the pre-Christians with the gospel ofJesus Christ instead of arguing and fighting with our fellow believers. AMEN?

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