Friday, July 31, 2009

Covenant Keeping

Jeremiah 30:22-24
(22) And you shall be my people, and I will be your God."
(23) Behold the storm of the LORD! Wrath has gone forth, a whirling tempest; it will burst upon the head of the wicked.
(24) The fierce anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intentions of his mind. In the latter days you will understand this.

Here we see the great reaffirmation of God's covenant with His people. I won't go into whether that is national Israel or if it refers to the church, but the key point here is that God is faithful on two accounts:
  1. He will take care of His own
  2. His wrath will be poured out on those who aren't His
I think that we as a society really like the first promise, but we aren't so keen on the second. This is why the gospel is so important. Jesus would not have had to come down as God incarnate and die for our sins were it not for the second promise. God's wrath will be justly poured out on those who are not His.

Are you one of His? Do you know Him? If not, there is wrath stored up for you. I would never encourage anyone to give his life to Christ simply because of the wrath to come, but it is a good starting point. Ultimately we have to decide who God is. Is it the God who created the universe and sets the rules or is it our own thoughts and ideas about how the universe should be run? God deserves our worship and obedience because He is God. As Paul wrote:

Galatians 1:3-5
(3) Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,
(4) who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
(5) to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Response to Folly

Jeremiah 28:10-11
(10) Then the prophet Hananiah took the yoke-bars from the neck of Jeremiah the prophet and broke them.
(11) And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, "Thus says the LORD: Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all the nations within two years." But Jeremiah the prophet went his way.

Jeremiah had made it very clear that the people should expect to be taken captive to Babylon. He even put a yoke on his neck as an object lesson for the people. Then this false prophet Hananiah came along and told the people what they wanted to hear.

I find the end of verse 11 to be a bit surprising. Were it me I would have wanted a fight. I would have brought out all my verses to show that Hananiah was wrong. I would have wanted to prove him wrong before all the people so that they could see the truth. And, frankly, so that they could see that I was right.

Jeremiah didn't do that. He just walked away from the situation. He was willing to wait the two years for vindication. After all, it would be easy to see who was right at that time. If the people came back then Hananiah was right.

I don't think that there is a universal application to this, but I do think that there is a lesson for those of us who feel a calling to fight for the truth. Sometimes we just need to walk away. I don't necessarily have a cheat sheet to show the situations when it is better to fight and when it is better to walk away, but I do think that there are times where one response is appropriate and the other isn't. I do think of the Jehovah's Witnesses and all of their prophecies. They can talk about "new light" all they want, but in the end they have to deal with following false prophets.

Ultimately, I think we need patience. That's something I know that I need a lot more of.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Using Tools

11 p This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and t these nations shall serve the king of Babylon u seventy years. 12 Then after u seventy years are completed, v I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, v the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, declares the Lord, v making the land an everlasting waste. 13 I will bring upon that land all the words that I have uttered against it, everything written w in this book, which Jeremiah prophesied against all the nations. 14 x For many nations x and great kings shall make slaves even of them, y and I will recompense them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.”

(Pardon the formatting as I'm traveling and using the ESV Study Bible online text).

I think I've covered this before, but I just find this fascinating. God plans to use Babylon as a means to punish His people. But at the end of this time God intends to punish Babylon too.

This tells me a couple of things. First, it shows me that God is completely sovereign. He can do what He wants with people and we never have the right to say, "that's not fair!" I am always taken back to Romans 9 for this as well.

It also tells me that we should be very careful about judging the merits of a people or an organization based on the way they are prospering or not prospering. There seems to be a certain kind of pragmatism within American evangelicalism that automatically equates numerical success with faithfulness. In other words, a prospering ministry must be a faithful one. They may not do things the way we think they should be done, but if they prosper that is a sign of God's blessing; therefore, we should withhold judgment despite the biblical warrants we have for concern.

God's treatment of Babylon tells me that we cannot do that. I have heard Paul Washer say that Joel Osteen is actually God's judgment upon the folks who want to hear his teaching. They don't want the Bible, but they do want to have a sense of affirmation. God uses Joel Osteen to give them what they want, which will ultimately lead to their own destruction. After all, the rain falls on the just and unjust.

Let's remain faithful to the Bible. Let's use the Bible as our benchmark. You never know when a seemingly successful group may actually be a tool like Babylon was.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Strange Obedience

Jeremiah 24:5-10
(5) "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I have sent away from this place to the land of the Chaldeans.
(6) I will set my eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up, and not tear them down; I will plant them, and not uproot them.
(7) I will give them a heart to know that I am the LORD, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.
(8) "But thus says the LORD: Like the bad figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten, so will I treat Zedekiah the king of Judah, his officials, the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and those who dwell in the land of Egypt.
(9) I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a reproach, a byword, a taunt, and a curse in all the places where I shall drive them.
(10) And I will send sword, famine, and pestilence upon them, until they shall be utterly destroyed from the land that I gave to them and their fathers."

As we've seen, God intended for Jerusalem to get sacked. He commanded the faithful to be led away by the invading Babylonian army. Here we see that He compares those who are led away to good figs. But those who stay are bad figs and are destined for utter destruction.

If I were in Jerusalem at the time my inclination would be to stay. I would want to put up a fight to show my faithfulness. I would want to demonstrate bravery, which is a character trait that every culture seems to honor. But this passage tells me that staying for a fight would lead to my destruction.

Isn't it this way with Jesus? We can try to do things our way, but all that will do is lead us to our own destruction. But if we yield to Him in complete surrender we will end up having life. It won't be the life we originally planned, but it will end up being a lot better than getting lumped in with the bad figs.

I encourage you to surrender to Jesus if you haven't already.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Word

Jeremiah 23:29
(29) Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?

We attend an unashamedly seeker-sensitive church. This means that we have a lot of nominal believers in it, if they are believers at all. While I realize that not everyone is at the same stage of Christian maturity, I also think that we make too many allowances for those who are not serious about following Christ. They still want to have life both ways.

I think this verse shows us the answer to the problem. How do we break through to those who have a hunger for Christ but don't know how to live it? We preach the Word. How do we all grow in sanctification? We spend time with the Word.

It's really not a lot of fun to go through a fire. Nor is it fun to be hammered into pieces. Yet I know that is what I need. The Word brings conviction into my life. This particular verse tells me that I need to bring Scripture to bear even more on my life than I do now. It's tough to spend time in the Bible because it transforms us. Yet that is how we are going to grow to be more like Christ.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Who is Against Us?

Jeremiah 21:5
(5) I myself will fight against you with outstretched hand and strong arm, in anger and in fury and in great wrath.,

This is a terrifying thought. God Himself promised to fight against the people of Jerusalem. They earned this because of their unfaithfulness to the covenant that God made with them.

I know that I tend to think of God as always being on my side. That seems to be the popular view of God as promulgated by Hollywood too. He's there when we need to make a 911 prayer, but otherwise He can just sit there quietly.

Jeremiah paints a very different view of who God is. I think we'd better respect this God that Jeremiah describes. I also think that we had better give Him the glory and honor that He is due.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

TV Theology

We made it safely to my mom's house in Cleveland yesterday. The trip was good and we had a fine evening. Then at 8:00 it was time for my mom to put on the Hallmark channel. We were subjected to back-to-back episodes of Touched by an Angel.

I have written a few times about how I want to get some of that old zeal back. Watching this show helps. To hear an angel tell someone about God's love but never tell them about Jesus just drives me up a wall. Plus, the angel is offering the person wholeness through a cathartic experience rather than from casting her life at the foot of the cross.

As I think about it, I wonder if perhaps obviously secular shows like Friends or even something like Nip/Tuck do less damage to the cause of Christ than saccharine shows with wrong theology like Touched by an Angel. I applaud the idea of putting God on TV, but doing it in a way that leads people down the road of self-actualization rather than repentance and belief is terrible.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hiatus Coming

I may not post consistently for the next week while we're in Ohio visiting family. We'll see how the time shakes out, but I'm not counting on it.

In the meantime, I hope that this is how you feel:

Jeremiah 20:9
(9) If I say, "I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name," there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.

It can be frustrating, but it's always good to be faithful!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Jeremiah 18:12-18
(12) "But they say, 'That is in vain! We will follow our own plans, and will every one act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.'
(13) "Therefore thus says the LORD: Ask among the nations, Who has heard the like of this? The virgin Israel has done a very horrible thing.
(14) Does the snow of Lebanon leave the crags of Sirion? Do the mountain waters run dry, the cold flowing streams?
(15) But my people have forgotten me; they make offerings to false gods; they made them stumble in their ways, in the ancient roads, and to walk into side roads, not the highway,
(16) making their land a horror, a thing to be hissed at forever. Everyone who passes by it is horrified and shakes his head.
(17) Like the east wind I will scatter them before the enemy. I will show them my back, not my face, in the day of their calamity."
(18) Then they said, "Come, let us make plots against Jeremiah, for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, let us strike him with the tongue, and let us not pay attention to any of his words."

I apologize for the long quotation today, but I think the whole thing is necessary to make a point on something I am really wrestling with lately. The people don't like what Jeremiah has to say regarding their sin, so they decide that they are going to follow their own hearts. God promises that there will be consequences to this decision and Jeremiah reports that. What do the people do? They decide to "make plots against Jeremiah" because they prefer to listen to those who tell them what they want to hear.

Of course, most of us who preach or aspire to preach think of ourselves as Jeremiah. I know that I rarely have the humility to think of myself as one who needs to hear his teaching. This is especially true in the Baptist and non-denominational circles in which I run. We all think that we're "doing church" correctly and we don't have much room for naysayers.

Check out this blog post about something Mark Dever said. The church with which my seminary is affiliated has an eschatological position in its membership statement. However, they also have a really good relationship with Capitol Hill Baptist to the point that Mark Dever has spoken at our church. I wonder what reaction there will be to this calling out, if any?

I am doing a paper on papal infallibility and it is forcing me to wrestle with issues like this. Frankly, Stephen Davey is under no obligation to listen to Mark Dever. Should he? I think so, but that's up to him and I respect him as an elder as well as the president of my seminary. However, the freedom that he has to come to his own opinion is the same as the freedom I have to accept or reject his thoughts on this matter, or at least that's how I see it.

If I were Lutheran, Missouri Synod this would not be an issue. I would respect the teachings of the LCMS. The same goes for PCA and of course Roman Catholic. Of course, there are other problems that come with that kind of ecclesiastical structure too. I'm not saying that it's perfect, but it is something that I'm being drawn to more and more.

I wish I could be Roman Catholic, but I just can't buy into the way they treat Scripture and I would echo Luther's sentiments from Worms. I just wonder how this will eventually play out.

Monday, July 13, 2009

What We Deserve

Jeremiah 17:9-10
(9) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
(10) "I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds."

We all naturally have a Pelagian view of man. The idea of damnation for those who do not believe the gospel seems unfair. After all, they aren't bad people, right? I mean, most of them aren't, right? They go to work every day and try to take care of their families. They keep up their yards on the weekends and they watch their kids' soccer games. Sure, they may be a little too obsessed with work or with hobbies sometimes, and maybe they don't honor their wives like they should, but they aren't too bad, right? And sure maybe they surf porn on their own, but that doesn't hurt anyone. After all, those models are well-paid and are there because they want to be, right?

I think that is the typical American view of salvation. We need Jesus as an add-on. However, most people don't think that they really need Him. By everyone's standards they are just fine.

This passage tells us a different story. Here we see that the unregenerate heart is sick. God judges people completely justly. He does it based on the heart. He just gives us what our hearts want. If we do not know Jesus then we really don't want salvation. We just want a more comfortable life on our terms.

My prayer is for a fully-committed life. I am overwhelmed by how far short I fall with that. However, I the desire encourages me. I don't think I would have this desire apart from the Holy Spirit working in me.

What do you want? What does your heart seek?

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Jeremiah 13:23
(23) Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil.

The people of Judah were immersed in sin. They had temples to Baal. They were offering up their children to Molech (not unlike what we do now, actually). They had run far from God and were committed to evil.

I would maintain that we are in exactly the same state in our sin. This is our nature. We may not be as bad as we could be, but we are certainly predisposed to sin and away from God. Therefore, we have a major problem. An Ethiopian could not become white by choice and a leopard could not get rid of his spots by choice. These qualities are parts of their nature.

This is why the free and sovereign choice of God to save men is so wonderful. God saved me when I was mired in my sin. I was as unable to choose God as a leopard is to change his spots. Considering this really puts me in awe of the incredible love of our sovereign Lord.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Jeremiah 12:10-11
(10) Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard; they have trampled down my portion; they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
(11) They have made it a desolation; desolate, it mourns to me. The whole land is made desolate, but no man lays it to heart.

This gives me pause as someone who wants to be a leader in a church someday. I do not want to be described like these shepherds. The men who led Judah led them into the desolation that came with breaking God's covenant. Yes, the people were accountable for knowing the Torah too, but this shows us that God singled out the leaders.

This is why it is so important for us as leaders to remain faithful to Scripture. It's also vital for us to have a good relationship with the Lord. How can we introduce people to someone we do not know? How can we lead people to a place we have not been? This all reminds me that I need to step up my zeal and remain focused on the task of pursuing God.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Jeremiah 9:23-24
(23) Thus says the LORD: "Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches,
(24) but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD."

I look at my life and I wonder what I have to boast in. I could boast in my family. The kids are healthy and generally well-behaved. I could boast in my wife. She is a good wife and she turns some heads when we're out in public. I could boast in my job. It's nice to have a stable white-collar job in a good environment. I could boast in my learning. The guy next to me at the baseball games says that he told a coworker about how much mintuae I remember about games I've seen. I also could boast in my knowledge of the Bible. I've read it several times and know what it says better than most people.

The problem is that I have boasted about those things. Maybe not out loud because I know how to play the Christian game too well for that, but I have boasted about them internally. I have put my hope in things like these.

What I realize is just how much folly there is in my heart. I know how easily distracted I am by so much junk online (both visual and mental). I'm also distracted by otherwise good stuff when I should be doing other things. I'm distracted by my own desires more often than I'd like to admit.

Yet through it all I have the Lord. He needs to be my source of strength. He needs to be my comfort. He needs to be what I rely on to get me through the day. He needs to be the basis for all my decision. This passage also reminds me of:

Galatians 6:13-15
(13) For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.
(14) But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
(15) For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.

The outward stuff doesn't matter so much as the heart. I am so glad that I am not to be judged on what I do but on what Christ has done!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

An Old Twist

Jeremiah 8:8-9
(8) "How can you say, 'We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us'? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes has made it into a lie.
(9) The wise men shall be put to shame; they shall be dismayed and taken; behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?

I never gave much thought to the meaning of verse 8 before I read the note in my ESV Study Bible today. It seems that the scribes would take the Word and transform it into something more palatable for the people. It looks like folks are still doing the same thing today.

There are some imperatives in Scripture that my flesh rails against. Sometimes my flesh misses the pornography. Sometimes I miss diving into an all-you-can-eat buffet. Serving my wife is difficult. Loving my children is difficult too. I think I would live much differently if those commands were not in Scripture. I write that with confidence because I know the state of my heart. It defaults to looking out for myself.

In other words, I understand what it means to be brought under the conviction of Scripture. I don't think that the right answer is to do some exegetical gymnastics until we get a translation that we like. Instead, it seems clear that we are to use God's Word as a lamp for our feet to guide us. I pray that we'd all do that.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Staying Fresh

Jeremiah 6:7
(7) As a well keeps its water fresh, so she keeps fresh her evil; violence and destruction are heard within her; sickness and wounds are ever before me.

I remember my days in porn. I was always on the lookout for something new. Of course, the porn industry knows this and so they obliged. There is a reason why the magazines have different models every month. Depending on your tastes you could always find something new out there.

It amazes me how hard we will work to keep our evil fresh. I think of the materialistic urges that I fight. I'm always on the lookout for a new way to spend my money. When I think of it that way it seems pretty ridiculous, but that is what I do.

Ecclesiastes 1:8
(8) All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

Ultimately my senses will never be satisfied. There is no perfect game. There is no perfect piece of technology. There is only one perfect book. If I'm going to keep anything fresh it needs to be my delight in the Word of God.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Tickling Ears

Jeremiah 5:12-13
(12) They have spoken falsely of the LORD and have said, 'He will do nothing; no disaster will come upon us, nor shall we see sword or famine.
(13) The prophets will become wind; the word is not in them. Thus shall it be done to them!'"

Apparently there were the same problems in Jeremiah's day as there are now. There were so-called prophets who told the people what they wanted to hear. They would not preach a message of repentance of sin. Instead they told them that God loved them and wanted them to be happy. They reassured the people of God's steadfast love and ignored the consequences of their idolatry.

You don't have to look very far to see the same thing today. And what's particularly pernicious is that folks are going to these "churches" every Sunday and they leave with a false sense of security. They figure that they've got their Jesus booster shot for the week and don't have to worry about changing their lives. I suspect that there is a big surprise waiting for them someday.

As an aside, my ESV Study Bible pointed out the pun in this passage. In Hebrew the word for "spirit" is the same as for "wind." So while prophets were supposed to have God's Spirit these prophets only had wind. This makes me pray for God's Spirit in my teaching and not just my own wind.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Great Bible Giveaway

Logos Bible Software is celebrating the launch of their new online Bible by giving away 72 ultra-premium print Bibles at a rate of 12 per month for six months. The Bible giveaway is being held at and you can get up to five different entries each month! After you enter, be sure to check out Logos and see how it can revolutionize your Bible study.

Preach It

Jeremiah 4:19
(19) My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain! Oh the walls of my heart! My heart is beating wildly; I cannot keep silent, for I hear the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.

This is a theme that we will see again in Jeremiah. He had such a burning for holiness and for God that he could not keep silent as he saw destruction approaching. I think of a few men in our day who have such a heart for holiness. Though it may make them unpopular they keep on sounding the alarm of impending doom.

This is not to say that we need to focus all of our energy on "watchblogging" or on calling out the ills of society. However, I think it is fair for us to expect God's people to act like God's people. I am tired of making concessions for sin in my own life and in the lives of others. As I wrote yesterday, I am working on getting the old zeal back. A passion for holiness is a good start.

Saturday, July 04, 2009


For this year's holiday weekend service our church showed us a video from Craig Groeschel about "It." He described "It" as a kind of nebulous spiritual experience that some churches have and some don't. My take is that "It" comes from a church where people are really committed to the gospel in their own lives and the world.

What really convicted me was his fourth point that your church cannot have "It" if you do not have "It." This is under the idea that you can't lead people somewhere you haven't gone. I agree with that.

It really convicted me about where I've been for a long time now. Pretty much ever since I first learned about the Emergent movement I've been much more intellectual about my faith. I think that is a good thing to a degree, but it shouldn't be to the detriment of emotion. I remember how fired up I was back in 2002 and 2003. I was pretty obnoxious in fact. I think that I have suppressed this for so long that I am slipping a little bit. For example, on Friday I found myself looking at stuff I really shouldn't. It wasn't porn, but I was looking for trouble. I can examine my heart and see that it is a problem.

I also have put on a few pounds in the past few weeks. I can think of times when I nibble at work when I don't really need to nibble. I'm still faithful in my exercise, but I need to stay faithful in my eating too.

I'm just trying to find "It" again, if that is the label you want to put on it. I need to get that zeal back and I don't think it will happen without some prayer, possibly some fasting, and a commitment to devouring the Word. Would you pray for me?

Friday, July 03, 2009

The Message is Everything

Galatians 1:8-9
(8) But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.
(9) As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

I have been known to use this passage in a little proof-text war with Roman Catholicism. After all, this is the language that they quoted at the first Council of Trent when they declared the Reformation idea of justification by faith alone to be anathema (what is translated "accursed" here). Basically, the idea is that there is only one gospel and anyone who preaches a different one is accursed.

But as I review this passage I am struck by a different point of emphasis. The authority here is in the message. Paul is emphasizing the truth of the gospel that the Galatians first received. In Gal 1:1 he states his authority as an apostle. But here he makes the point that even he does not have the authority to give them a different gospel.

To me, this is a great argument for the importance of Scripture. Yes, it is important to have educated people interpreting what the Bible says and means. However, I think this passage makes it clear that no one has the authority to change the gospel in any way. If Paul didn't then we certainly don't.

1 Corinthians 15:1-2
(1) Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand,
(2) and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain.

Hold fast to the gospel!

EDIT: R. Scott Clark happened to write something similar here. I promise I wrote this before I read what he wrote. I find it reassuring when a "real" theologian writes something that I also wrote. It makes me feel like I'm stumbling in the right direction in this case.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Security in Preaching

Jeremiah 1:17-19
(17) But you, dress yourself for work; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them.
(18) And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land.
(19) They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the LORD, to deliver you."

Young Jeremiah had a very difficult task ahead of him. He had to preach judgment on a self-satisfied and self-righteous people. In this passage God gives Him reassurance that He would protect Jeremiah through it all.

What I note from this is that there is no promise of ease or comfort. In fact, in verse 19 He assures Jeremiah that there would be a fight. Yet He also promises that Jeremiah would prevail in the end. I think of fortified cities, iron pillars, and bronze walls. I think the point of this imagery is that they can take a licking and keep on ticking. They do nothing to prevent the attacks, but they can withstand them.

I am reminded of this verse:

Ephesians 6:13
(13) Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

If you are a Christian then you are called to preach at some level. If you never share the gospel then you have to wonder if you're really a Christian. They will know us by our love, right? Well, if people are on the road to eternal damnation then we had better be willing to tell them how to get off that road. The problem is that we will likely suffer to some degree if we are faithful in that calling.

This is not easy for me. I don't know where the line is between sharing the truth in love and turning people off to the gospel. All I know is that I am called to share it. I don't want to be a stumbling block for anyone, but I also don't want my inaction to be the reason someone never heard the gospel clearly articulated either.