I'll be back later today to finish this, but in the meantime, I found this video that includes some clips from Ben-Hur (see yesterday's article). Again, you'll need to scroll down to the music player and pause it so that you can hear the song (which is one of my favorites)...
OK, I’m back…finding time to write anything today has been challenging, to say the least…we just found out that we have to go to Washington day after tomorrow, and are having to rearrange some things in the already busy schedule…and I just found out that Betty Orsini’s mom just passed away, so I’ve got to go see about that.
The bottom line is, I may not get to finishing this article today. But please feel free to continue the discussion without me. I love what you've already written (8 comments). It’s no problem putting your stuff through, even when I'm busy with something else...and sometimes I enjoy just seeing where the conversation takes you on your own…Be back as soon as I can…
OK, now I’m really back…
First of all, I owe everyone connected with this blog a huge apology! I really didn’t think about it at the time, but I realize now that I did something very hypocritical here last week…something very wrong and counter-productive…and for that I sincerely ask for your forgiveness.
I’m referring to the fact that, in answer to someone’s question a few days ago, I re-posted a letter that had been on here before, but that I had removed some time back for several reasons. Many of you will remember that when I first started the blog, it was primarily about answering my critics, defending my doctrine, and protecting my reputation concerning things that had been written about me on-line. But after a few weeks of being bombarded with pointless arguments from the religious cyber-community, I decided to change the direction of the blog, and to move away from the defensive posture that I had been taking here. So I deleted all of the original stuff (for a long time you could still find it all on-line, but it seems to be all gone now), and re-created the edifying, Christ-exalting site that we now all enjoy. The one thing that I kept was the article about my son, Jared, simply because it saves me time in not having to answer people about the things they read about him and his band on-line.
The reason I say that I did something hypocritical is that today I was scrolling back through all of the articles that are listed under the Blog Topic “reconciliation”, and it occurred to me (especially when I read the articles from May 9 – “Forgive the World”, and March 12 – “How Great is our God!”), that I had said I wouldn’t answer my critics or defend myself any more. It’s not that I can’t answer them, it’s just that doing so doesn’t do anything to build the Kingdom of God or to help people. Jesus generally avoided answering the questions (which were traps) of the Pharisees for the same reason.
You know how I said the other night in a sermon that the hardest thing you’ll ever do is to walk in your own revelation? Well, I’m confessing my fault in that area here, because I have already said (more than once, in fact) that it didn’t matter to me what people thought of me, and yet I still took a defensive stance concerning an accusation that had been hurled at me.
The worst part of it is that when I posted the article, it opened up a very negative atmosphere here, and suddenly there was a mean-spirited tone coming from the bloggers that is out of character for them, and totally out of keeping with the purpose of this blog. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not accusing those of you who wrote the negative stuff. I take full responsibility for everything that was here (that has now been deleted) because all of you were simply taking your cues from me, and I willingly posted all of your comments. In all honesty, I must confess that I cringed at some of the stuff that many of us said here (I am the chiefest of sinners in that respect), but my flesh enjoyed it, even though it grieved my spirit. I love the fact that you all want to protect me, but I’m a big boy…I shouldn’t even need that kind of affirmation at this point…and I am your shepherd. I should have never taken you there.
You may say that we were all justified in our reactions, because some really negative things were said about me by someone who doesn’t know me…but that’s not the point. I have already said that I would turn the other cheek, regardless, and yet I didn’t do it. Hopefully, I have at last learned my lesson in this respect.
As to the subject of answering doctrinal questions here, I can only say that I have already answered those questions presented to me over and over again, and at this point I consider that I owe no man anything but to love him. Besides, you can have all of your doctrinal ducks in row, and still be completely wrong in your motives. The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. And no matter how many questions you answer, one man’s revelation is another man’s heresy. One man’s spiritual evolution is another man’s apostasy. One man’s ascent into greater truth is another man’s descent into error. One man’s orthodoxy is another man’s legalism. One man’s Scriptural interpretation is another man’s false doctrine. One man’s liberty in Christ is another man’s deception. My only answer to anyone concerning my preaching is this:
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:1, 2 – KJV)
Anyway, it doesn’t matter what anyone says about me, or accuses me of…it doesn’t justify sarcasm and insults on my part. We wrestle not with flesh and blood.
I am confessing my fault that I may be healed. The sound of His voice has taken the sword from my hand.
Please forgive me, and agree with me that this battle in my life is won once and for all…
(Please pause the music player before viewing this...)