BEEN BUSY: I apologize for not getting a newsletter out in the past month, but with my mother's passing, almost losing my job, and the CARM server crashing, I've been buried. But, here I am, back on track.
ONLINE SCHOOL: The online school of Christian theology for CARM has been released. If you want to see a demo, please go to www.carm.org/demo/equip.htm. The full version has a tuition of $50 and you can sign up at http://carm.1plan.net/login.php.
The purpose of the online school of theology is to both educate the body of Christ as well as help provide funding for CARM going full time. Remember, everything on CARM is free. Eight years of writing and 24 years of research have gone into it. So, I am hoping that people won't mind an online, tuition based, endeavor where Christians can go through Christian theology, systematically, and at their own pace. The tuition will help keep people committed to following through. Also, it is a precursor to the online school of apologetics that should be released later this year. You need to know what the truth is before you tackle error, that is why the School of Theology is before the School of Apologetics. People are signing up now. Do you want to join them?
(If you have any problems, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
JOB: My job situation has improved. I'm officially in "limbo" and being cross trained. I'm not worrying about what is going to happen. The Lord is in control and He will provide. So, thanks to all of you who have prayed for this.
FULL TIME: Please consider praying for and supporting CARM financially. My wife and I are praying about the inevitable change to doing CARM full time. This would involve a move to a cheaper area to live where we can afford to buy a home (which is impossible to do here in San Diego since the average price of a home is around $400k). We will probably be taking a trip up through California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and back down through Oregon and California as we research new areas to move to. We want to find a cheaper area with decent housing so that I can do CARM full time and then begin to gather a staff to work with me on site. We have a lot of plans for CARM including free downloadable Bible study lessons with answers, audio, etc., for use in Bible Studies and Sunday Schools. CARM can be a central resource for so much. Anyway, we are willing to pick up and move and take the risk. But, we want to have a peace about it. So, please pray for direction in this as we seek a new place and a financial support base.
CARM CONVENTION: The Next CARM convention is planned for May 22, in Redlands California at The River Christian Reformed Church. It will be on Saturday. We have a host of great speakers. For more information on the conference please see, CARM Conference 2004. Pre-registration is available.
The error that when the Word became flesh that it combined with the human nature and became a third "new" thing. Mono means "one". Hence, a single "god-man" nature was formed instead of the two natures being united in one person -- which is the correct doctrine and is known as the hypostatic union. Jesus has two distinct natures: human and divine. Monophysitism is incorrect since the formation of the "god-man" nature would neither be God nor man, but a new third thing.
Jesus said,"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." Peace is lost in the world without Christ. People worry, wait, doubt, and long for things they covet. They want. They need. They demand. They must have just one more thing, or one more fulfilled desire. Without direction from God, they ingrain in themselves false needs and hopes which are out of the will of God and then complain to God and doubt Him when their self-centered prayers go unanswered. The result is a lack of peace. So, to solve this problem people often try to create a false peace with alcohol, drugs, sex, or other addictions. Sometimes they deny their sin and push away the conviction of the Holy Spirit. They no longer feel the touch of God's correcting movement in their hearts. They are left to their own ways.
Those lost in the cults also want peace. They want to believe that what they are following is going to help them and get them to heaven. So, they study their false doctrines looking for half-truths that will lull their souls into a false rest. They want to be made to feel safe and at rest in their hearts.
Unbelievers want peace. But, they don't turn to God for it. They look within. They try to muster up a self-assurance, reachable expectations, and, they hope, when they achieve them, they might have confidence and peace as a result. The sad truth is that sometimes these things give them peace. But, it is a false peace. It is false because it is not based on God. It is based upon themselves, their desires, and their possessions.
True peace can only be found in being in the will of God. True peace is a gift from God found only through Christ. Think about it. If you knew you were in the will of God, and even though things were tough, would you have peace in your heart? I hope so. If you did, then your confidence and hope in life would not be based upon the situations around you, but upon God who lives in you. That way, true peace will always be yours.
I can remember a time in my life when the simple answer "yes" or "no" would have a profound affect on the direction of my future. If I answered "yes" then I could stay in the profession for which I had been trained for years - the pastorate. If I answered "no" then I would have to leave it and find something else to do. Three godly men waited for my answer. I knew that I could tell them what they were hoping (which was not my position concerning charismatic gifts) and then I would be able to remain a pastor. But, I knew I could do nothing but answer as completely truthful as possible, according to the conviction of my heart, and that doing so would mean years of study and internship would be for naught. At that point, realizing the seriousness of the decision, I reflected on my relationship with God. I wanted to please Him, even if it cost me. So, I answered according to the convictions of my heart. As a result, I lost the pastorate to which I had been called. But, I had peace in my heart knowing I had been as truthful as I could be before the Lord. If I had shaded my answer just a bit, I could have remained in the pastorate. But, I knew I would have had no peace in my heart and would have no right to preach if I gave an answer that others wanted to hear. It was not worth it. I answered the call of integrity knowing that God was looking at my heart. I answered truthfully. It cost me greatly. But, that is okay.
Peace is rest in the heart. Though life may be hard, though our bodies be frail, though pain is our companion, to be in the will of God is to abide in the peace of God. Let me find the will of God and walk in it and let all other things be as they may.
" Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus," (NASB).