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A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Religion beat became a test of faith - Los Angeles Times: "Clearly, I saw now that belief in God, no matter how grounded, requires at some point a leap of faith. Either you have the gift of faith or you don't. It's not a choice. It can't be willed into existence. And there's no faking it if you're honest about the state of your soul."
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Please Note:

This story is a heart-breaking account of a reporter who abandoned his evangelical faith because of the shenanigans that he observed while reporting on evangelical "Christianity."

1. Christians must "Make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:" (Heb 12:13-14 AV) Jesus announced a great apologetic for the faith: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (Joh 13:35 AV) We are to seek the weak and lame, not abuse them.

2. It is proper that all "ministries" done in the name of Christ be under the supervision of the elders of the church, who must require accountability. We are commanded to "Recompense to no man evil for evil. Pro-vide things honest in the sight of all men." (Ro 12:17 AV)

3. William Lobdell was abused by evangelical Christianity from the beginning, for his experience of being "touched by Jesus" at the mountain retreat and the "Mariner Church" was a result of evangelical experiential manipulation, rather than the work of the Holy Spirit impressing the truth of the Gospel upon his heart and mind. Faith that is created by people can be destroyed by people. Not so the faith of God’s elect, which is not grounded upon experience, but on the certain promises of God. True faith does not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. [1Cor. 2:5]

The evidence that this is true of William Lobdell's experience is that he sees no essential difference between Rome, Saddleback, Mariner's, Presbyterianism, Mormanism, etc. Where is truth? What about doctrine? What about the Scriptures? Is all of this irrelevant, and the only thing that matters is what goes on in worldly, apostate, money grubbing churches? There is plenty of honest, true Christians in this country, but you won't find them if you look in the wrong places, and the Los Angeles Times has a history of not looking in the right places to find the story.

4. The "ministries" that conceal the truth because they want to maintain their position will answer to God for their dishonesty and compromise. So also must William Lobdell answer to God for looking to people for the assurance of his faith. "...Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds." [Heb 12:1-3] Any faith that looks to men rather than to Jesus is a false and dead faith, for only in Christ is there life.

The brightest part of this sad story of Lobdell's experience is in the quotation above. He is right about faith being the gift of God. It is good that he has abandoned what he thought was his faith, because it was not faith at all. Sometimes the rubbish has to be swept away to make room for truth. Let us pray that he finds it in the Lord Jesus and Him crucified.
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