Use your gifts for good, not for contending - 05/15/2005

Your website is so adversarial and full of contention.  Even your "Contact Us" page is nothing but defensive negativity.  The Gospel, as taught by Jesus Christ himself, is a Gospel of love and not intended to embroil a person in an all-consuming lifestyle of bitter feelings and negativity. It always amazes me what people will in the supposed name of Jesus Christ. 

Many wars, atrocities and oppressions have been carried out over the centuries by people claiming to be doing the Lord's work.  When he finally shows up I'm sure many of those people will be shocked when Christ says, "Who are you and what have you done with my name?"

It is not my intention or desire to argue points of doctrine with you. My only purpose in writing was to say that you seem to have a talent for writing and a love for reasearch.  Certainly the purpose of that God-given ability was meant to be used to enrich your life and the lives of others in a more positive manner that what you are presently doing.  All of this hate will eat at you and eventually kill you both physically and spiritually. 

With respect,

Karl





CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:


Hi.  Thanks for writing.  We get this kind of comment often from people who don't believe in absolute truth and are confused about what Jesus actually taught.  Jesus taught very plainly that the only way to salvation was through Him and believing in His sacrifice on the cross.  The Bible also warns repeatedly about following any religion that goes against what Jesus and the apostles taught as recorded in the Bible.  It sounds like you may have picked a few verses out of the Bible that you liked and ignored the rest.  I'd encourage you to read the whole Bible in order to know what Jesus really taught.  If we really hated people we wouldn't spend our time and money trying to reach them and bring them to Christ.  This ministry is the most loving thing we can do considering the following verses from the Bible. 

The Bible tells us to contend for the faith against heresy and those who deny Jesus Christ.
Jude 1:3-4     
Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
You would probably think the following verse is unloving and intolerant.  God warned us about false religions and those who deny what the Bible clearly teaches for the same reason we do so in our ministry - because He loves us and wants us to have eternal life with him.  God condemns religions that worship other gods and deny the God of the Bible.  Is God intolerant and unloving?  I think not.
Romans 1:18-25     
"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen."
God warned us that some would abandon the faith taught by Jesus and the Apostles.  Is God intolerant and unloving for warning us?
1 Timothy 4:1     
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
God condemns any other gospel other than the one given to us by the Apostles (the Bible).  He condemns to hell those who pervert the gospel of Christ and turn it into another gospel that is really no gospel at all.  Would it be loving for us to not warn people who are being condemned?  The worst thing that could ever happen to anyone is to go to hell for eternity.  If we really didn't love them, we'd say nothing and let them go to hell.
Galatians 1:6-9     
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
God warned us ahead of time to beware of those who claim Christ has returned, or claim they are Christ.  The Baha'i do just that.  Would it be loving to ignore this part of the Bible and not warn them?
Matthew 24:23-25     
At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.


Matthew 24:5     
For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many.   

Luke 21:8     
He replied: "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not follow them."


Mark 13:6, 21-22     
Many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and will deceive many. At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'Look, there he is!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect--if that were possible.
People who refuse to love the truth of the Bible will be condemned.  You probably think this is intolerant and unloving to say.  But, it's not us saying it.  It's God saying it.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12     
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
This verse might fit you.  You know enough of the scriptures to know we should love each other, but ignore the rest, and deny that we can find salvation only through Christ.
John 5:39-43     
You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. I do not accept praise from men, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.
Jesus will return at a time we don't expect it.  Those who've followed another gospel, another God, or deny Jesus Christ as their savior will suffer greatly.  Should we not warn them?  Is it loving to say nothing?
Matthew 24:42     
Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.

1 Thessalonians 5:2-9     
for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
On our website we point out that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation.  You seem to think this is unloving and intolerant.  Yet, the Bible says the same thing.  It's very Christian to believe what the Bible says.  And it's loving to spread the gospel and try to save those who are attempting to reach God any other way.  No one comes to the Father but by Christ.
John 14:6     
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.


Matthew 7:13-14     
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
God knew arrogant, sinful men would turn their backs on God and Christ.  They take the broad road that leads to destruction.  We want to bring as many people as possible to the narrow road that leads to salvation.  The truth is found through Jesus Christ and none other.  If we reject that gift of salvation through Christ's sacrifice, we can't say we weren't warned and God didn't try to reach us.  We follow the Great Commission and try to bring as many people to Christ as possible.  We care enough to reach out to those who might depend on one or two scriptures as comfort while they deny Christ and follow another gospel.  We could just as easily let them believe that all paths lead to God.  Because we are loving, we want them to know that salvation comes through Christ.  I pray that you accept that gift as well.

Jennifer Rast
Contender Ministries