Welcome to the May 30, 2007 Newsletter
Mini-devotional - Thank you for 1 John 1:9
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness," (1 John 1:9). There was this young man I used to know in my youth. I would like to speak to him again so I might rebuke him and correct his errant ways. I would like to talk sense into him and tell him how to avoid some serious sins and their consequent future anguish. But, that foolish young man is gone, never to be seen again -- I hope. He is a shadow now, a memory of self-centeredness and sin, a ghost from a past life.
Yet, that young man has left me with memories that I have tried to forget. But the Lord brought to surface a particular sin in a very sudden, unexpected, and profound conviction. So, I found myself struggling with a memory and suffering from it with a newfound pain and shame.
It hurt to remember what I was capable of doing in my youth.
Why did the Lord choose this day, after all these years, to bring this issue to light with renewed strength and guilt? I don't know. But, after hours of trying to ignore it, and avoid God in the process, I finally chose to confess my sins not only to God, but also to someone who I love and trust. You see, for some reason I needed to speak about it. I needed to confess it with audible words. I don't know why I needed to. I just did. So, I told my wife about that old sin and cried while confessing. This sin didn't involve her, but I needed her to hear it. I needed my wife to hear my words.
She touched me with a gentle hand, kind words, and spoke about forgiveness in Jesus.
But, the most important person I had to confess my sins to was the Lord. Of course, I know he is eager and willing to forgive. That is how he is. Therefore, it was with confidence that I finally approached him, yet again, in confession and, by his grace, was cleansed once more. I am so glad for 1 John 1:9 and its demonstration of love, commitment, and forgiveness that flows from the heart of God through the person of Jesus. God forgives because of Jesus. I am forgiven because of Jesus.
Are their sins in your life that you have suppressed? If so, has your suppression moved you further away from God and caused you to be uncomfortable when contemplating the things of God? If this is the case, confess your sins to the Lord and, if need be, to those whom you have offended. Receive forgiveness, kindness, grace, and peace from the Lord and only he can give. God is faithful, even when we are not.
Santa Cruz, CA Trip
Last week my wife and I drove down to Santa Cruz California to interview a pastor and check out his church. The pastor was Dan Kimball and he is the head of an emerging church called Vintage Faith. As I said in the previous newsletter, the emerging church seeks to reach the lost with the Christian gospel by adapting to present day culture. There are many critics of the emerging church as well as proponents. Some emerging churches are so liberal they aren't even Christian. But, others are very orthodox. As with most things, there is is good and bad.
I found Dan to be polite and knowledgeable about Christian doctrine. He is definitely orthodox (though he seems to approve of women pastors). After attending the church service I was definitely encouraged. Though some emerging churches leave much to be desired, I thought his church was doing a good job of reaching out to the culture in Santa Cruz.
It was Memorial Day weekend and there were over 200 people attending the 7 p.m., Sunday evening service. You have to remember that this is in Santa Cruz, perhaps the drug capital of California and is heavily situated within a surfing and new age type culture. The fact that 200 people, mostly young, chose to attend a service on Sunday evening was great to see.
Dan preached a message on the deity of Christ and I thought he nailed it very well.
In fact, I felt comfortable in the service and would have no problem attending it again in the future.
In a couple of weeks I hope to go to Seattle and, Washington, and attend to other emerging churches. One is quite orthodox and the other, well, I'm not sure where it stands. It should be interesting and I'll continue my research and writing on this.
Finally, we drove down on Saturday, attended two churches on Sunday, and came back on Monday. In all, I drove about 26 hours and traveled over 1600 miles (including a wrong turn that cost us two hours). Needless to say, I was quite tired when we finally got home. Why didn't my wife and I fly? Because CARM didn't have the money for airfare and car rental. It only cost about $150 in gas for the round trip since my car gets 33 miles per gallon. Whew!
Love and Hate Mail
CARM is constantly getting e-mails of thanks and praise and condemnation. Here are a few...in the raw. (At the suggestion of a reader, the hate mail is first so that the last taste in your mouth, is the love mail).
Same as Last Newsletter
- Hate mail:
- I think that you, Mr. Matt Slick, are a sadistic cult leader. If people like you will be in heaven, I will more than happy to take my place in Hell. You are a disgrace to humanity. I yearn for the day people like you are systematically slaughtered. I will feel pity for you.
- I read your articale about pokemon and it was very helpfull. It made me realize how some sites like yours are a load of crap. Yes i said it your hole organization is crap. there is nothing wrong about pokemon there never will be. So you need to shut up and go hide in a corner.
- I have reviewed your website and have concluded that you are producing a message that is contrary to Christ. I must ask you to reconsider, to abandon the ways of Satan, and embrace the Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church. Only through the Church can you be saved. Otherwise, you are nothing more than false prophets and blasphemers that Our Saviour warned us about. I will pray for your souls that are otherwise damned. EMBRACE THE FAITH, blasphemers. Jesus will return and judge you.
- you think Christ has called you to do his work by wasting your time attempting to discredit other religions of believers in his Father? you really think you should be wasting all of your energy on that while people are starving and in need of real help all over the world? Christ calls us to spread the news of him to nonbelievers, not to discredit everyone we (who are men) decide don't worship him properly (don't hate people who dont hate you for worshipping God in a way that you have no idea about)
- Love mail:
- I just wanted to say how impressed I was with he accuracy of the LDS doctrine that you have on your site. I am Mormon and it is so nice to have a non-Mormon site actually presenting actual Mormon doctrines. Most sites I visit usually are immature and innaccurate, but, your site is accurate and handles the doctrine very clearly. I realize that you are doing what you feel is right and I appreciate you doing it in a way which is not slanderous and mean. We all have different beliefs, and I respect yours and appreciate how your sites respect ours. Keep up the good work.
- Just wanted to say thank you for your ministry... very good stuff... Be encouraged and keep fighting the good fight!
- God bless you, brother in Christ. Keep up the terrific work. I'm always encouraged by your newsletters and communication knowing that you have been walking with faith and not just by sight. I will continue to pray for you and your family.
- I would just like to thank matt slick for being an instrument that God used to save me. he doesn't have to spend all of his time on Carm especially because he doesn't get paid, but if he ever wonders if people just hate him and want to shut him down then i want him to know that i was one soul that was saved.