Newsletter September, 2004


September, 2004

A Reflection

Last week Dr. D. A. Carson came to preach at our church. After listening to him, I was deeply touched and warned by his messages. The speaker was very open and honest. He started by admitting his own weakness and limitation. But, with the power of God and the love of Christ, he reached out to those who love the Lord with a pure heart and in single mind, desiring to share with them the truth of the gospel. In a straight forward manner, he pointed out the errors of pluralism. With a clear analysis, he convincingly stated that salvation is given to man by God through Christ and Christ only. He warned the believers to be careful of some of the modern theories and spiritual trends, because they all have deviated from the true gospel.

He used "rebirth tech" as an example. The proponents of this theory stated that we were born or grew up with certain inner damages, which are buried deeply in our sub-conciousness. This will turn out to become sins such as fear, resentment, complaint and withdrawal in our lives. One must attend their classes and learn their "rebirth techniques" in order to obtain full healing and total delivery. Dr. Carson said that this is basically the deceit of Satan! In Ephesians 3:16-21, it is said, " that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be strong to apprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled unto all the fullness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever. Amen." When we preach the pure gospel of the power of God and the immeasurable love of Christ in our hearts, is it still insufficient for our salvation and delivery? Do we really have to continuously search for new techniques to modernize the gospel? Is it necessary to become sufficient only when we need to have, for example, the gospel plus rebirth tech?

Satan knows that it is not easy to call those who love the Lord away from God. Therefore, in the beginning of spreading its new techniques, the devil only tries to deviate a little bit from the truth so that the hearers would not detect the error. But, when it is continued, the spreading of error grows from five degrees to ten degrees, then to fifty degrees, and farther and farther away. And finally, it brings the listeners totally away from the gospel without knowing it. Hence, the speaker emphasized that whenever we hear a certain new theory, or discover any modern, new trends, we need to be extremely careful if it is not Christ-centered nor lifting up the Name of Jesus Christ.

He also pointed out that one cannot afford to have errors in theology when preaching or sharing the gospel to people. For instance, the theory of dualism is clearly not in accordance with the Bible's truth. He emphasized that our firm belief in the sovereignty of God is the basic foundation for leading man to the knowledge of the glory of God, the eternal purpose and redemption of God, etc. This is because all things were created according to the good pleasure of God and by God, to whom alone is the glory, honor and authority, forever and ever (Rev. 4:11).

The meeting ended three days ago. But the messages given by the speaker continued to be heard in my mind, reminding me of my shortcoming before the Lord. First, as he said, as a female I am more emotional and often look down at those who are so rational and insisting on their theology. I always thought that as long as I could lead others to Christ, and as many as possible, God will forgive me with His mercy if I had deviate a little in His teaching and truth. But, the speaker was correct in that we cannot afford to be wrong in our own theology. The slightest deviation will end us a thousand miles away from our God of truth.

Furthermore, when I initially signed up for seminary and majored in counseling, my consideration was two-fold: On one hand, I can use the secular psychology to identify with the mass of this world. On the other hand, with a Master of Divinity degree I may be able to easily join an evangelical organization, through which to reach and influence more people who need help. However, after nearly two years, I find myself coming to a dead-end. Because the seminary and all other evangelical organizations are under the restrictions of the government, they are so limited in their ability to preach the true gospel in a positive manner. On the surface, the counseling work has some effect. But without the pure gospel of God, man cannot receive the real help which they desperately need in their hearts. To a small degree psychology could help people. Some of the counseling techniques may be useful. But the gospel has to be presented in its entirety with no compromise nor sacrifice with any short-changes.

During this period of time, the academic work was so heavy that I did not find time to be faithful in my own personal devotions. My life circle and social contacts were limited to those in the seminary, so I had no opportunity to share the gospel with people or to help them in a real way. All this is opposite to what the Lord burdened my heart initially and to what I desired to do for God, for which I deeply regret and feel sorry toward my God. Simply for the pursuit of knowledge I have been neglecting in searching for God's will, for which I deeply regret and feel sorry toward my Lord. I will have to make some adjustment, some changes such as temporarily resigning my seminary study. Please kindly pray for me. May the Lord God remember this little one! (Chan)

Note: Dr. Donald A. Carson is the New Testament Professor at the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL. He has written more than 45 books, including his award-winning books The Gagging of God, and An Introduction to the New Testament. He received his degrees from McGill, Central Baptist and Cambridge.

An Interesting Story

Two friends were traveling in the desert. One day during the journey they had a big fight. One friend Mr. A slapped the other, Mr. B, in the face, who felt deeply humiliated. Silently, he scribbled down in the sand, "Today my good friend slapped me on the face." They continued on the journey and came to an oasis, where they decided to take a rest at the lakeside. Mr. B was not careful, and he fell into the water. Mr. A quickly came to his rescue and pulled him to safety. Mr. B used a small knife to carefully carve into a stone, "Today my good friend saved me from death." His friend was curious and asked him, "Why did you write in the sand after I slapped you, but carve in the stone after I saved you?" Mr. B answered with a smile, saying, "When you are injured by a friend, write it down at a place that can be easily forgotten as the wind will blow it away. However, when we receive favor from others, we should engrave it on our hearts, where no wind will ever blow it away."

Among true friends injury often comes as an accident, but help is genuine. Forget the accidental and forever remember the true support of love. You will discover that you have so many true friends in this world. (from Internet)