From the Author
I’ve been in Christ’s Church all my life. That’s a long time. I’ve been an ordained minister since 1973. I’ve seen a lot and heard a lot. I’ve listened to believers and read the writings of scholars from many traditions. I don’t have all the answers. But there are some things I do know beyond a doubt.
The first thing is that God loves everyone. I know this because I know God and I know the Scriptures. I confessed Christ as my Savior and was given a Bible at Easter in 1952. I wasn’t always a good little boy or even a good teenager, but I knew I belonged to God and that I really did believe in Jesus Christ. I was acutely aware of God’s presence in my life.
But it wasn’t until I was sixteen that I began to read the Bible. A preacher at youth summer camp—the only one I ever attended—challenged all of us in his devotional group to read the Bible. I don’t know if anyone else took him up on it, but I do know that reading the Bible changed my life forever.
No one can persuade me with nonsense teaching. And there’s plenty of that in Christ’s Church.
No one can persuade me with false theology and false theological systems which sound logical only because long-developed arguments have made them so. And there’s plenty of this in Christ’s Church, too.
No one can persuade me that God might not love me if I don’t adhere to their tradition or their heresy or their legalism. I’ve heard a lot of this nonsense in Christ’s Church over the years—and I’m still hearing it and reading it.
But I know better because I know the God of the Bible and the Christ of Scripture—the one who gave his life for me because he loves me.
I know there isn’t any one God doesn’t love because this is what the Bible tells me. And there are some pretty despicable and sinful people in the Bible. Who is it that God doesn’t love? No one.
My life’s experience is the same. I’ve met some pretty horrible people, but never anyone that God doesn’t love. Does this mean that God accepts them the way they are? Absolutely not. To love someone and accept someone’s sinful ways are two different things. This is why Jesus Christ died on the Cross—to forgive us of our sins and give us a new life reconciled to God and cleansed of our old habits of sinful thoughts and actions.
The second thing I know is that there isn’t any one in this world Jesus Christ is unwilling to change or has no power to change. The power of the Cross—and the power of the resurrection—can change any one who is willing to come to Christ in faith and change their ways. The power of Christ enables us to live purposeful, fulfilled, and joyous lives.
Another thing I know is that the love of God and the power of Christ are everywhere in the world. We do ourselves a disservice to Christ and to our fellow human beings when we insist that we have the whole truth and that other Christians just don’t live up to full fellowship or belief in Christ’s Church.
Christianity is where you find it the world over. Christ lives not only in your church or fellowship, but wherever human beings have a genuine faith in him.
If you doubt any of these things “I know,” open up your heart to God’s Word and see for yourself. Despite many recent negative, false, and ignorant criticisms to the contrary, the Bible is still truth—absolute truth. God inspired the writings of this great book to give us his truth and tell us how we could be forgiven of our sins and reconciled to him. Nothing has changed! The Bible is still God’s absolute and life-changing truth.
Rev. Angel is an ordained minister in the Congregational Christian Churches, and formerly the publisher and editor of Magnus Press. He has served Christ in several inter-denominational ministries and churches, and is the author of Yes We can Love One Another!: Catholics and Protestants Can Share A Common Faith, God’s Love in the End Times, and the recently released The Power of Christ in YOUR Life. He has an MA from Pepperdine University in Religion/Biblical Studies, and a BA from Vanguard University in Religion/Biblical Studies. He lives with his wife, Patricia, in Southern California.
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