Saturday, June 10, 2023


     God’s plan is very mysterious and compelling. Mystery, as it relates to God, His Son Jesus, and the workings of the Holy Spirit, is mentioned thirty-two times in the Bible. 
     Not only is God very mysterious, but He is very powerful beyond comprehension. The Old and New Testaments are filled with exclamations of how powerful He is. And Paul in Ephesians 1:19 exclaims that His great power extends to us as believers. It reads the following, 
“—and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the mighty working of his strength.”
     So with the great mystery and power of God, one would think that the Bible and God’s plan for our lives would be very difficult to understand. The beauty of the Bible and the Gospel is that Jesus said in Mark 10:14-15, 
“Let the little children come to me. Don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 
     So, if a child can understand God’s mystery and power, and according to Jesus the only way to enter God’s kingdom is to come to Him like a child, then it should be simpler than we sometimes make it.
     I talked about in my last post how I gave my heart to God. It was a simple event. I had great need—and God met me directly at my point of need. I recently have been trying to find a church that follows those same, KISS (Keep It Simple, Saints) principles—a church that teaches that everyone is at a point of great need, whether they know it or not—and God is right at hand to meet them at their point of great need.
     I respect the many different theological perspectives that people bring to the table—and I’m not saying that a church has to be perfect. But I believe that churches that stray away from that Keep It Simple, Saints formula, may be going down a confusing, hurtful path.
     I agree that the major tenets of the Bible should be very important and stressed frequently. I just think that with secondary issues there’s a balance between establishing very specific theological perspectives, rules, and practices, AND, on the other hand letting God’s Word and His wonderful Holy Spirit guide each of us individually and corporately on the mysterious path He has for us, without trying to have everything spelled out explicitly beforehand.
     I know that what I’m talking about might seem muddy without giving a few examples of what I consider some secondary issues, so here goes.
  1. Churches that disagree on the biblical correctness of altar calls, which I didn’t even know existed until recently. Some churches believe and teach that an altar call is a manmade, unbiblical, and misguided act, despite the many prominent evangelists across a couple of centuries, including Billy Graham, that did altar calls.
  2. What it means to be Holy Spirit-filled. Some preachers and teachers firmly believe and teach that a person can be saved, but they won’t receive the power to fully fulfill God’s will until they speak in tongues.
  3. What the role of women in the church is. I grew up in a Mennonite, Amish community where head coverings in the church were mandatory, and a woman’s place in the church was clearly defined and strictly adhered to. On the other side, I have lived for many years in what some might call the “English” world where no Christian women wear head coverings and they don’t adhere to strict policies related to women in the church. In both instances, I have encountered great and godly women. By the way, my Mom and both grandmothers wore head coverings.
  4. A specific Bible translation that is deemed the only trusted one. Growing up in Berlin, Ohio, we had Berlin Pioneer Days every year, a three-day festival with rides and events. Scattered on the grounds were pockets of three or four persons in tight circles praying. I knew one man in the group, and he was a staunch King James Version-only believer, as were the others in the group. I think it was good to pray for salvation for the many unsaved people that attended Pioneer Days, but after those people might become saved, this man and his friends would stress the importance of the newly saved believer reading only the King James Version Bible, and that other Bible versions would lead them astray.
     So, there you have a few examples of what I think are secondary issues in the church. I don’t have all the answers to these secondary issues, and I would be interested to find out your perspective on these, and others. But I think in most cases—the KISS (Keep It Simple, Saints) approach might be the best one to take.

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