I am currently reading A Practical Guide for Successful Church Change by Ramsey Coutta. In his work the doctor outlines his arguments for the inevitability of change within local church bodies. This change can be good or bad depending upon how change is presented by the leadership and how it is received by those who may or may not embrace the change. Suffice it to say that not only are there changes in the local Houses of Worship but also there comes changes in communities, families and individuals. Change is a thing that will happen either by reason of prompting or by natural course of action. Either way there will be change and that change will come.
Now, it might as well be said that I am not expert on change. However after having been on this Earth for more than five decades I can say with certain confidence that change is inevitable. Take, for instance, the young babe born just a few days ago. A number of changes have already taken place. For instance the babe is no longer protected by the womb of his mother. Instead of being fed through the umbilical cord the child must be fed by mouth. The change of growth is persistent and leads to a lifetime of changes. As such we can be certain that change will come in this life. Change is inevitable and should often be embraced.
The point of this message is to encourage all that are facing change with at least some trepidation. Some are changing marital status while others may have lost a loved one to death. Some are walking into new jobs while others are at the threshold of retirement. Some are moving to a land in which they have never been while others are merely changing local addresses. Either way there is change coming and as a rule change serves only to strengthen that which is already in us. Do not be afraid to embrace change as nothing ever remains the same except God who is immutable. Even as I pen these words things are changing all around me to include the things that are happening to propel me into the future. So go ahead and change. Let God uphold you as you walk toward and into your destiny of change.
Heavenly Father, first I thank you for giving me this forum to be an encouragement to your people. I also ask that you comfort those who are facing change with anxiety and grave concern. Please allow them to rest in and trust You as you have their best interest at heart. Thank you for changing not only me but also all those that have chosen to serve you as that was the best change we could have made. We love you Lord and thank You for making positive changes in our lives.
First and foremost I would like to thank all who follow me as I seek to use my pen to draw attention to issues of the day juxtaposed with biblical ideas. Those of you who read regularly realize that I am not simply writing as a way to make political statements rather part of my goal is to challenge Christians to stand for the Word of God and be Christians. There are so many attacks on Christendom that standing sometimes becomes a challenge yet the Christian should be encouraged to know that the remnant in which he sits is part of the larger Church.
Now, many of you may know that I am a fan of academia. This is the case because I firmly believe that if one is to be successful at his craft there must be some learning and grooming. Many of you know that I recently completed an internship at Huguely Hospital in Fort Worth, TX as I reported weekly on the program and its impact. Now I am set to start a chaplaincy residency. God has been gracious and doors are opening for me to that end. I will soon have choices of what program I want to enter. Yes, God has been very gracious to me! With this it should be also known that I have been accepted into Liberty University’s Doctorate of Ministry program concentrating on Evangelism and Church planting.
Working these two programs contemporaneously will be a tremendous challenge and a challenge I look forward to. With that said I am not sure how I will continue working on my blogging. No, there will be no laying it to the side; I am just not sure if I should do series as I did with the study on Deuteronomy, highlight points of my residency or take totally different courses. I tell you what, if you have any suggestions please reply to this article. While no promise will be made to that end I would love to hear your viewpoints.
One final thing; I will be a little transparent in saying that the past few years have been quite a financial struggle for me. There are reasons that I will not get to in this forum yet you can be sure that the difficulties I have endured have nothing to do with malfeasance on my part or anything else nefarious. With that I ask that all that willing and able to share http://www.gofundme.com/workingondestiny as I will keep it up for just another week if I get no responses. Either way I continue in thanking all who support me by reading, responding and sharing the words I pen.
Fighting wars is no new thing. Fighting has been going on from the time Cain killed Abel so it comes as no surprise that man has sought to kill fellow man stemming from jealously and fear. Such was the case during the Crusades beginning in 1095 wherein Catholicism sought to defend itself against the ever increasing stronghold of Islam. The initial loss to Catholicism caused the determined Muslims to fight even more for that they construed to be a “holy war.” That fight has been going on from that time to this with the idea that Islam should be the world religion and those that do not adhere, even different thinking Muslims, need to suffer the fate of death by the hands of those that fight in this jihad.
There have been many instances of late wherein Islamic terrorists have committed acts of violence not only in the Middle East but also in Canada, Australia and the United States. One of the most horrific acts was reported just yesterday. The report is that a Jordanian pilot was burned alive by Islamic jihadist. These Islamist, calling themselves ISIS, have no regard for human life. There is no respect for opposing viewpoints. Their holy war is just another means of silencing those that do not give in to Islam and yet our President refuses to publically admit that the enemy the world is fighting is a war against Islamist seeking to kill the rest of us. There is definitely a crusade going on yet there is another crusade that many will not engage in.
Christians are also called to a holy war however that war is not to seek out and kill those that disagree with us. Instead the Christian is called to a jihad of sorts. Now, this is not to say that Christianity is to give way to Islam; that is far from what is being suggested here. Instead an examination of the original idea of jihad is the Muslim idea of an inner struggle. The Arabic term has much to do with striving and has little to do with the idea of holy wars. Still the Christian would do well to understand that we are called “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Luke 13:24). With this the Christian is not to fight against a physical enemy as a way of life rather he is to work diligently in keeping the faith (II Corinthians 13:5).
It is true that many Muslims seek to tear down Christianity by any way possible. And Christians are to be determined to fight another crusade. Certainly there are times when nations must take up arms in the matter of self preservation. So must Christians lift holy hands to a Holy God in complete surrender to His will. The fact is that Islam does not recognize the spirit realm so it takes its jihad against all who are not like it. However Christendom has another crusade wherein it realizes that the fight is not against flesh and blood rather it is against principalities and powers and rulers of darkness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). The Christian crusade also involves standing to live (I Thessalonians 3:8) rather than putting forth the false idea of martyrdom. This Christian crusade means fighting for righteousness and giving even our enemies a chance at salvation.
So, while the Islamic State continues to wreak havoc the world over Christians need to maintain holiness and faithfulness to the One and only God. Fought properly the holy war of Christians can and will soften the heart of the most dedicate Muslims. With that, Christians, let us crusade not out of malice and vitriol but rather with love and compassion so that we might win some; even if some are Islamic terrorists.