Always Compelling - 02/27/2005

Dear Ben and Jennifer Rast,

When I hear remarks like those made by former labor secretary Robert
Reich (http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=39321), I have
greater appreciation for a web site like yours that is Bible-based and
tells it like it is.  I also wonder how much longer Christians will have
the freedom to express their views.  Considering the so-called hate
crime legislation in the U.S., Canada, and elsewhere (Sweden!), perhaps
that time is not far off.  Of course, all this does mean the Lord's
return is quite near!

A few comments:  I continue to enjoy your articles on Bible translations
("Primer on Bible Translation").  I've learned quite a bit from those.  
Very well researched.  I think Bible transmission is a particularly
relevant subject, especially for unbelievers (maybe believers!) who are
learning some rather off-the-wall fabrications about the Bible's genesis
(which also relates to your great article on the "DaVinci Code").  The
mail bag is always interesting, and I am encouraged by your responses to
some of the most inflammatory of messages.  I think the tone of your
responses will affect the writers of those messages more often the
content, since they really don't want to hear reasoned arguments.  And I
also found your commentary on "The Passion" movie to be quite reasonable
and Bible-based (though I've yet to see it).  It was a little hard to
find the commentary section on your site, though; I found the article
quite by accident!

Finally, I'd be interested to hear what you have to say on topics like
the church growth movement and word of faith ministries, but perhaps
that is out of the purview of your site.  In any case, please continue
to stand steadfast in the Lord and may He continue to bless the hard
work you've put into this web site.  I look forward to future articles. 

Sincerely,

J.W.





CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:


Hi J.W.  Thanks for writing.  Sorry it has taken so long to reply.  That article about Reich is thoroughly disgusting, but not altogether surprising.  Polling organizations have found that the democratic party has to rely more and more on the secular left for survival.  You can imagine we watch the hate speech legislation quite closely.  We've already experienced censorship by America Online.  Some of our newsletters and news alerts are sent back by AOL filters because of "objectionable content."  Our newsletter subscribers are subscribers by choice, but those who are customers of AOL are not being appropriately served because of our biblical stance on topics like homosexuality.  We made the choice NOT to organize Contender Ministries as a tax-exempt non-profit simply because we want to retain our freedom to speak out on moral issues that happen to be political issues as well. 
 
We're glad you've enjoyed the series on Bible transmission and translation.  We feel it's an important area for Christians to gain knowledge in if we're to effectively contend for the faith against heresy and historical revisionists.  We're working on another article in that series we hope you'll enjoy.  Thanks for your feedback on the commentary section. 
 
With regards to the Word-Faith movement, we'll be doing an article on that as well soon.  It's our opinion it goes beyond the biblical foundation of offering prayers of faith for healing.  In practice, the Word-Faith movement diminishes the role of God, and creates a heretical notion of divinity in man.  As for the Church Growth Movement, I don't think it's as bad as some of the naysayers make it out to be, nor is it as good as its proponents maintain.  It's a good thing, in our opinion, for churches to engage in outreach to try to bring more people into church to hear the Word of God.  The danger is in utilizing methods that water down the Word of God.  Church newcomers need to be challenged and fed, not simply "cheered up."  If churches are watering down the gospel in order to swell their ranks, then we wholeheartedly disagree with their methods, and tend to question their motives.  We have a three-part series called, "The Caffiene-Free Diet Church" (http://www.contenderministries.org/articles/dietchurch.php) that doesn't address the CGM specifically, but does point out problems that are also common in the CGM. 
 
Finally, we want to thank you for your words of encouragement.  The negative emails you mentioned are more than made up for by the encouragement we receive from people like you.  We thank you for your support, and we ask the Lord to bless you mightily as you contend for the faith!
 
In Christ,
 
Ben and Jennifer Rast
Contender Ministries