“Unreasonable Faith” Copyright 2010 by R.Stephan Toman All rights reserved. No material may be quoted or copied for other than personal use without written permission.
I feel it only fair to honestly introduce myself, so you have an idea, up front, of where I, at least, am coming from.
I might be a somewhat successful artist/sculptor, at least I was before globalism and Hurricane Sandy undid my little carving studio. I have been entrepreneurial for the past 28 years, having slowly navigated my way out of the landfill existence of the starving artist to, now, the notoriety of being able to take my wife out betimes to the Tandori buffet for a date. The bursting housing bubble in the northeast trashed my associations in high-end architectural woodcarving, and then what was left of my little bit of success ended when Hurricane Sandy decimated my customer base (we were living just to the West of ground zero for the eye of the storm). We are now starting over outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. However, all of this has been the Lord’s way of moving us from “the backside of the desert” and returning us to our primary purpose and calling, which began almost four and a half decades ago when I encountered Jesus Christ in my barracks in Germany.
Long before I discovered I was a woodcarver, I became a completely convinced Christian. I have a profound and immutable testimony that began 42 years ago with a personal and very supernatural miracle that saved my life and released me from serious drug and life-style problems, and I have as many years since of formal academic study (including a summa cum laude degree in Biblical Studies, with minors in World Religions, Sociology, and Philosophy from a very fine private Wesleyan Methodist college), a bit of seminary work (cut short by the responsibilities of actual life), extensive ministerial training, and considerable practical teaching and ministry experience as well.
I once almost destroyed, and have worked very long and hard with my wife to completely rebuild, our marriage, have three adult children, and five grandkids. On our tenth anniversary there was nothing left of our relationship except our vow before the Lord that “divorce was not an option”. Our marriage is now, according to my wife’s reckoning, about an 8/9 on a scale of 10. We just celebrated our 40th anniversary. I am amazed that Marilyn will say this, because I still don’t think I have come so far in my own transformation…but who am I to argue with my wife?
However, I am ‘way outside the “traditional” box in the way I approach my faith, and can be unexpectedly fair-minded and freethinking and compassionate (in a grumpy sort of way), though I am certainly orthodox (that is, according to the clear teaching of the New Testament, not of the myriad opinions of the academics who have spent the last 1800 years obfuscating it) at the core. I don’t believe myself to be overly predictable.
I consider myself to be respectful of most opinions with which I have disagreements, unless they violate God’s clearly stated positions on the way He expects His Cosmos to behave. You have every right to be wrong.:) I have little patience with loudmouths and wise-asses and over-educated armchair philosophers and theologians who are “ever learning, but never coming to a knowledge of the Truth.” 2 Timothy 3:7
There are lines over which I will not cross and at which I will make a stand, especially pertaining to issues of morality and character. In some ways I am a conscientious objector, but I am not a pacifist.
I sometimes like to push the envelope in conversations just to see what might happen, or to provoke people to actually start to think meaningful thoughts. I am more tactful now than I used to be. It has become painfully clear to me that a substantial percentage of people actually think no more than three or four truly significant thoughts a week…if that. I am quite convinced that many modern people would not be able to function if they didn’t receive their daily data-stream from some remote server somewhere in cyberspace. Many do not seem to have a mind of their own. Cultural programming is ubiquitous, and it appears that a large percentage of people are completely unaware of how brainwashed they are.
I have spent the majority of my Christian life within the boundaries of the mainstream charismatic evangelical conservative church, but, as my adviser at one school once pointedly accused me, I have “no institutional loyalties”, and I do not claim membership in any particular mainline denomination. At the moment I am rather disgusted with a fair percentage of the organized church, though not with all of it. I haven’t decided what I am going to do about this yet, as I also very much am opposed to “lone wolf” Christianity.
My loyalties are to God and the agenda of His Kingdom first, my wife and family second, the demonstrably Christian and global SPIRITUAL “community of believers” third, people in general next, nations and political systems and causes last, and very much least. It can be no other way: True Christians are “in but not of this world”, and are, first, citizens of our Father’s Kingdom, of which the systems of this world are merely vassal tenants.
I very much believe in judging persons and organizations by the fruit of their lives and efforts, not by their hype and flash… sometimes it takes quite a while for me to decide whether or not someone or some group has integrity to its core, because quality fruit takes a long time to grow and mature. It is relatively easy to put on a good front and keep up appearances, often for some time, before the masks begin to slip.
I believe that the Bible is the ONLY inspired Revelation of God to the human race. I know without any reservations that Jesus Christ is the Almighty Creator God fully revealing himself to us in human skin, and that intimately knowing Jesus Christ as a Person is the only means by which we can return to our proper relationship with our Creator. (I met Him personally on the evening of Sunday, May 19th, 1974 in an encounter that began around 5pm and lasted for an hour and a half. You can believe this or you can choose not to: I was there. My testimony is on-line at www.rstoman.com) I believe that without this personal relationship each one of us is doomed to eternal separation from our Creator and to spiritual death. I also know absolutely and through now nearly 42 years of personal experience that Jesus is a lot bigger and more fantastic than the “Four Spiritual Laws” printed in a tract, or a street corner revival service, or a life of Sunday morning pew sitting. I am not a Fundamentalist, but I am evangelical, if that word has any useful meaning left to it. I really do care that you “get saved”! I also believe that the decision to do so is entirely between you and your Creator. The stuff I have written in my journal/commentaries is all about this.
Jesus Christ is the single most significant Figure in human history, and you are foolish to deny it or to ignore or mock His challenge. PLEASE DON’T LET ANYONE CONVINCE YOU OTHERWISE! Of course, my major purpose in this blog is to argue this point.
I am a biblical creationist, by which I mean that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth“, but I am not a “young earther”. I have no trouble with the idea that the earth is four and a half billion years old or that the universe is 13.73 billion years old : My God transcends our limited time dimension, is not defined or constrained by it, and 13.73 billion years is still a trillion years too short a span of time for Darwinian evolution to have had a snowball’s chance in Hell of coming up with a single living cell, so that straw-grasping pseudo-science notion is put to silence.
We can still talk about a guided development of life and about natural selection, if you want to: There’s room for such a discussion among intelligent people. Micro~evolution is obvious. Macro~evolution is bad pulp science fiction with no unchallengable supporting evidence. The same data that the neo-Darwinists think shows a progress of evolution simply tells me that when you have good design principles to work with you stick with them. God is the Author of Common Sense. And nobody but God has ever explained how Life itself happens, what Life actually is.
In my humble opinion, Fundamentalist “Young Earth” theology is unhelpful and divisive and adds nothing of value to intelligent discussion in the 21st century. It lacks elegance and makes dialogue impossible with many intellectually sophisticated people. Real science will do nothing but declare the Glory of God, and the church need not be afraid of it. Eventually it will catch up to the Truth. Fundamentalists who fear science seem to be admitting that they don’t really believe God is big enough to win a debate against the puny intellect of His own creature, man. That’s silly.
It is simply stunning how the most recent discoveries of honest science, real science, and especially of cosmology, overwhelmingly confirm the biblical revelation that God has given us of Himself. I am not a scientist or a mathematician, but I enjoy the implications of general relativity and multidimensional reality in-so-far-as I can reflect upon them from a theological perspective. I can clearly see the hand of God in the Big Bang, in the Lorenz Butterfly, in the Mandelbrot Set. I see Order so complex that we comparatively stupid humans perceive it as chaos. (Rather like blind men examining the proverbial elephant.) I accede to Intelligent Design and the Anthropic Principle: The closer we look the more obvious these things are. The evidence for fine-tuning in the Universe is mind-boggling, and humbling, and is mounting by the hour in ways that defy comprehension and the normal rules of statistical probability, and which even still crash our most powerful super-computers. “The Heavens declare the Glory of God.” Psalm 19:1-2 You can read at some depth on these things at www.reasons.org I will add such links about such things into this blog as I discover them: You can pursue them when they catch your interest.
I regard atheism as an irrational and foolish position based solely upon personal bias and a rebellious antinomian spirit. Agnostics can be honest in their doubts, and I can respect that: Atheists seem to me to be arrogant and willfully blind, whether they realize this or not or can admit it, and are in rebellion against the very idea of Authority, or anyone being smarter than themselves.
There is hope for the agnostic. There is little hope for the atheist, because he or she has no humility and cannot be taught… An atheist thinks he knows everything: Indeed, he must know everything, since obviously he has explored the entire universe, and has discovered that there is no God hiding anywhere in it, or he could not be so sure of his assertions and would admit to agnosticism. The notable atheists I have heard and read have struck me as little other than wordsmiths contributing nothing of enduring significance to the human condition. They are filled with themselves. They have spoken and written volumes of idle speculations, and left us all with nothing to believe in or hope for or care about.
Jesus of Nazareth, whose simple words were kept for us by his friends and not even by his own hand, has changed the world for the better in every generation for 2000 years. I am not here apologizing for those who have warped and twisted his words and his name. I am acknowledging that the effect of Jesus Christ in the world over the last two millennia has been more consequential and absolute than that of any other human being who has ever lived, and that wherever his teaching and the terms of his covenant have been accurately embraced and implemented that place and time in the world has been profoundly and positively transformed. No atheist or other-theistic belief system can make such claims.
I am not particularly political, though I do like to poke barbs into the fray, but if I were to put on a label I think I am a Libertarian, with some reservations (I have my biblical moral boundaries which are universally binding). Upon reflection, I am finding myself to be a Constitutionalist in today’s volatile political climate. Like the Bible, I think the Constitution is just fine the way the Founders wrote it: It is not a “living document” (sic), subject to arbitrary manipulation by legal weasels, and if it needs some adjustments they should be made properly, by the congress and the people, and not illegally by those who would fancy themselves smarter than those who they are hired to serve.
I am viscerally opposed to the philosophy of Progressive Liberal Socialism or any of its neo-Marxist permutations, but more on philosophical grounds than those of partisan politics. I very much resent the idea of someone telling me how to think; or to whom I must be charitable; or what is best for my family to eat or drink. I am very capable of doing these things for myself. The only thing PC about me is my computer. I work for myself, don’t mind paying reasonable taxes for reasonable services, and I am very willing to share out of what I make. I don’t need “Big Brother” telling me how to redistribute whatever little “wealth” I might manage to create! Giving is a personal heart issue, not a function of government, and selfishness and greed operate in every social strata. I think that a lot of people should get off their blobular buns (or their anorexic vegan asses for that matter), and try actually working at a productive job for a living instead of grousing so much about what they feel entitled too… and maybe they should dial down their expectations a bit and shred their credit cards as well. We certainly live in a nation of hyper-educated busybodies, deadbeats, and/or self-centered crybabies and whiners who think they are entitled to a lot more than they actually deserve. A lot of folks don’t deserve squat because they are simply lazy and parasitical at their core.
I certainly do not appreciate a bunch of elitist ivy-league politicians trying to dismantle the core principles that have permitted America to be as creative and entrepreneurial as it has been for the past two centuries, our historical dirty laundry notwithstanding. We’ve made a lot of mistakes since the experiment began, some of them really bad, but “We the people” can fix our own problems without the “help” of the corrupt power-hungry morons in Washington, and the puppet-masters pulling their strings who are trying to nationalize and castrate the “free enterprise” machine that built this unique nation over the past 235 years.
(I realize that there are some brave heroes inside the Beltway who do not fall into this category, and I applaud them, but they are still a minority. They very much need our prayers at this time.) We need to radically reduce the size and power of the Federal Government and return the governance of this country to the States, and to the People, where it rightfully belongs, and where our Founders, in great wisdom, designed it to remain. And I also realize that the corruption goes deep at the State and local level. Our country is very sick. Any hope of a healing has to start with each one of us as individuals.
I am, at this time at least, part of the ever-growing “Angry Mob”. Practically speaking, we are still the best corrupt nation that has ever happened among all the corrupt nations that have arisen on this fallen planet (which is why so many “immigrants” are stampeding to get in to America and out of their own countries). There’s no point in chucking our admittedly flawed but demonstrably successful system for something that has already proven to be more flawed and less successful, (That is EVERY other system on the planet!) when we can still work to clean out the scum that’s gumming up the works, and get our system running more effectively by getting corrupt big government, and corrupt big business, and the corrupt union thugocracy out of the way. And by letting common people with common sense clean up the mess at the community level where the solutions will do the most good. I certainly have no desire to return to being like the Europe that our fore-fathers gave their lives and pledged their “sacred honors” to be free from. Especially when it is so obvious that European socialism is totally failing and is about to fall apart and revert to nationalist infighting that will almost certainly succumb within fifty years to Islamic domination and the tyranny of Sharia Law . Personally, I just want to be left alone so I can do my art and help folks who need helping and want to work hard to improve themselves. However, it doesn’t seem like the “progressively” minded folks who have taken the bit in their teeth at the present time have the good sense to leave me, and others like me alone….
And that is a mistake. They are not going to be permitted to destroy this Republic that so many have lived and died to create and preserve! Too much blood has been invested by too many for such self-centered arrogance to be allowed to succeed.
We need to dust off the old slogan “Power to the People” and invest it with some magnum cojones. We post-modernists aimed at too many targets too indiscriminately back in the ‘60’s when we decided to kick off the traces, and we started a real mess-up: In the name of personal freedom and individual expression we stepped ‘way over the lines into licentiousness and the abandonment of ethics and morality and personal integrity. We cut loose too many mooring lines in our generational rebellion. As the Bible says: “We sowed to the wind and now we are reaping the whirlwind.” We were rebellious and stupid kids.
Now we have to deal with it, but what the arrogant progressive liberal jerks in Washington don’t realize is that we “boomers” are their parents and grandparents. We are the one’s who taught them how to be radical, and a lot of us have gotten some common sense over the last 40 years; we are older, wiser, and a whole lot more focused now than we were then. Our wise-ass children do not remember with whom they are messin’. We stopped a war back then: We can start one now. They have awakened a very dangerous sleeping Lion: They are fools if they don’t do all they can to make peace with that Lion very quickly, because there are still true Americans at the heart of this nation and we both outnumber them and surround them, and we will not go down without a fight. And we know how to fight much better than they do.
But now I’m preachin’……
I believe that personal human Liberty and free will, especially when under Divine and self discipline, are the most wonderful and supremely valuable gifts God has given to us, and that they are worth fighting and dying for, if it comes to this. I have five grandbabies that will not be slaves in the future if I have a breath left in my body to keep them free, and unless the Lord restrains me.
I believe that the individual as a free and unique person is fundamentally more valuable than the society that is constructed by the community of individuals, because the health and progress of any society is completely dependent upon the unique creativity and initiative of each of the individuals of which it is comprised.
The whole, in this case, is not necessarily stronger, or at least not necessarily smarter, than the parts that make it up, because the composite group tends to be weakened by compromise and corruption, the larger and more unwieldy it becomes, and tends to degenerate toward the least common denominator as it tries to accommodate the majority will. Compromise can be functional, but it is usually regressive and uncreative, always seeking common ground and paths of least resistance.
History demonstrates conclusively that simple majority rule generally and quickly degenerates to mob rule governed, neither by the wisest decisions nor even by common sense, but by the passions and peer pressures of the moment. Ultimately the collective becomes chaotic and always succumbs to the tyranny of a few, or of one dictatorial individual who rises to dominate, because this is the only way to get anything accomplished efficiently that equally affects the whole of the collective, if that is the goal, as it is with socialism or communism, but as it is not in a free enterprise meritocracy. In a meritocracy those who seek after excellence will generally rise toward success while those who aspire to mediocrity will fail and will either learn to aspire to excellence or will self-destruct. In this case natural selection does seem to apply.
This is why America is a Republic and not a democracy, and must remain so. There is an added layer of protection provided by the structures of law and process of the republican form of government established by our Constitution.
(This argument about almost unlimited individualism is not true of biblically Christian groups operating as theocratic organisms, by the way, where prayer, corporate anointed leadership submitted to each other in humility, and unanimous spiritual agreement upon all decisions allow God to guide the community, also bound together in love and humility, as the Head of His Body. But America is not and should not be a theocracy.)
Returning to the discussion of secular government, pragmatically, there can be no individualism in such a collectivized system, because individualism is potentially disruptive and unpredictable, and cannot be easily manipulated or controlled. Therefore individualism, uniqueness, creativity, initiative, spontaneity, and inspiration must be suppressed, uncooperative individuals eliminated, and all progress will eventually cease. And because of sin and lust, those in control will wax fat and oppressive while those under their control will become only the source of their supply and will be expendable. All growth and development will stagnate, brutality will increase, and hope will die. History bears witness to the fact that this is ALWAYS the pattern. (You can study the history of the Bolshevik Revolution, the Cultural Revolution in China, Cambodia under Pol Pot, North Korea, etc.)
Government should exist only to ensure that the individual has the maximum opportunity to express his or her individuality and creativity without jeopardizing or infringing upon that same right for any other individual, and government therefore must be limited in the extreme, because without severe checks and balances it will always seek to accumulate power and control to itself to the subjugation and suppression of the individuals being governed. (This is happening today in America.)
We need only enough government to prevent anarchy and chaos, to regulate the fair interaction and commerce of our society, and to protect the individual from enemies. Everything else should be a function of creative communication between private individuals. This is the way the Founding Fathers designed our Constitution in their wisdom. (Unfortunately, the Founders assumed that a Christian conscience would remain the dominant national social norm, finding it very difficult to imagine a world without such assumed standards beneath it. We may be proving them wrong. They, themselves, said that our Constitution could not work for a non-Christianized people who are not able to exercise moral self-control.)
I believe that socialism and communism or government nationalization and oversight (which leads to fascism) all deprive the individual of incentive to take initiative and to be creative, while free markets and individualism are inspirational and liberating. Outside of Christian community, I believe that enlightened self-interest under law acts as a sufficient check and restraint upon excess and greed in a well-balanced free community living under limited government. God has ordained limited human government for this purpose, in order to mitigate the effects of the Fall of man from Grace in Adam.
I believe that Christ and His true spiritual Church (NOT the institution of the church in any of its myriad forms: Catholic or Protestant!) stand above all human governments to hold them accountable to the Law of God:
The Prophets of the Sovereign God have always held Authority over the petty kings of men!
This is the Divine Order of creation and is the ordinance of the High King: Deal with it. No human government has any authority except it be given from above.
This law is as immutable as the Law of Gravity. The state has NO authority over the true Church in matters regarding Truth, Faith, and Morality, and must be challenged whenever it seeks to usurp such authority! (This does not mean that the Pope is the supreme authority! Roman Catholicism IS NOT the true Church on earth…nor is ANY organized denomination of Christendumb! God inhabits His temple, which is His people, and He moves through those He chooses to anoint and appoint at any moment to do a task at hand, whether they are a lettered sage, a celebrated saint, or a humble janitor or housewife or even a child. God backs up His ministers with signs and other operations of Divine power, including miracles.)
The authority of human government was given by God to men solely for the purpose of limiting the damage we will inflict upon ourselves because of sin if we are left unrestrained, until we are brought back under the legitimate Rule of our Father/Creator when He fully restores all things on earth at the time of the second coming of Jesus Christ at the end of the Age of the Nations.
Our rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness are extended to us by our Father/Creator, and not by any human agency. In America (and everywhere else, for that matter) the government is only to be a humble servant of the people, nothing more, and it is time, once again, for that lesson to be relearned. Our public servants have become very uppity and disrespectful of their duties and of us. Very few are qualified to be in the office they hold…Unfortunately, our electoral process has devolved into little more than a typical high-school class president dog-and-pony show, so such results can only be expected. We have gotten the representatives we deserve and we should be very much ashamed.
In our Republic (not democracy!) it is the duty of the responsible and informed activist citizenry to restrain or replace any government that oversteps its Constitutionally defined boundaries. (See the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution…cf. the Constitution of New Hampshire.)
I also believe that we are now in a time of very real spiritual war. ( the Bible talks about such things, you know). It is quite obvious to anyone with eyes that the world is going to Hell in a handbasket, Saint Barack and Hope and Change notwithstanding. Those who believe that the hope and fate of the human race lies with humanity, and not with God, are rightly in panic that their world is coming apart at the seams, because it is. We are all flying in a DreamLiner at 40,000 feet and the rivets are popping out of the walls and zinging around like bullets from a Mac-10.
And, in all honesty, all the brilliant talking heads on all the HD channels on DirectTV haven’t got a clue how to fix the plane and the parachutes they’re handing out are made of paper.
Those who fancy themselves our global lifeguards and Councils of Wise Persons are desperately afraid, and are going to increasingly extreme measures to try and save themselves and the human race from what increasingly appears to be pretty much certain extinction by any of a dozen different horrible fates. I suppose it is a noble effort, and they have no other option, since they are rejecting the Lord’s terms. They’re blaming God for their problems instead of calling out to Him for help.
It ain’t gonna work. Human nature and the immutable record of history guarantee that the cork is going to blow again, and probably quite soon. It is inevitable. And it is going to be incredibly bad. We do it bigger and better every time it happens.
The worst of the black heart of man is now being exposed, and confusion and insanity are becoming the new normal. Nothing is making sense anymore, and everybody is going crazy and obsessing on bizarre things to escape the reality show that is breaking on them like a tsunami. What does the bible say? “ Let’s pig out, get high, and party down…for tomorrow we’re all gonna’ die?”. The gray-zones are being eliminated and, for those who are not deluding themselves, black is becoming blacker and white is becoming brighter and brighter.
Until you change the individual heart of the individual man or woman or drug dealer or gang-banger or terrorist, you still are going to be trying to make self-centered people unselfish, greedy people generous, out of control people sensible, angry people peaceable, hate-filled people loving…
And as we all agreed ‘way back in the ‘60’s (and seem to have forgotten), “You can’t legislate morality.”
“The lust of the eyes, the lust of the heart, and the pride of life”: These are the core corruptions that suck the soul out of man…..greed and envy, sensuality and addictions, hubris and me-ism and “looking-out-for-number one”…… they have no respect for gender, race, class, or status… they belong to the children of Adam and Eve.
By the time you get done trying to fix these things, except through the transforming power of Christ, these self-serving people either will have robbed and/or killed you for your efforts to be nice to them, or you will have become as evil as they are in the solutions you have come up with for the problems…
Nothing has changed in the forty-five years since Woodstock (or in the two thousand since Jesus was born…or in the history of mankind). One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different outcome. Human nature is corrupt…And only biblical Christianity has ever changed or will ever effectively change human nature. Only Christianity not only teaches the right way for us to be truly human, but it alone, of all the world’s philosophies and religions, provides the power to actually pull it off.
The only sane human being that has ever walked the planet is Jesus Christ: He is the exemplar for mankind and will be the judge of each and every one of us.
This is a brief introduction to who I am and the gauntlet I have decided to toss into the ring. I have been sitting in my cave for a long time keeping my own counsel, reading my books, doing my art….
Over the past four years I’ve been quite intensively focused on the writings of the Christian Rabbi, Paul. I’ve been enjoying the New Testament on CD as I drive and as I work. I’ve lost track, but I’m fairly certain that I have now listened to the theological letters of the apostle being read aloud in full much more than 2000 times. It’s been quite a profound experience, almost like having Paul himself explaining his deepest thoughts at length.
The New Covenant with God made for us by the work of Jesus has opened up to me in ways that I could never have imagined possible through this exercise. I’ve come to the realization that much of what much of the popular church has been preaching has radically diminished and understated the Truths that Paul and the other New Testament writers were declaring….the full Gospel (“Good News”) of the Kingdom of God that was established by the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. (“Christ” is the Greek word meaning “God’s Chosen Champion”. The Hebrew word is Messiah which means “anointed or chosen savior” “God’s Man” “The God/Man”)
There are basically three groups of folks in the world: Those who have sought after Truth with their entire heart and soul and have found it in Christ and are now living full and expanding lives through Him, those who are in willful rebellion against Truth because they prefer irresponsible independence and the physical pleasures of their addictions and lusts to a life of self-discipline and an intimate relationship with their Creator, and those who are seeking after Truth because they know that something is missing from their lives.
These last can be found mingled among every people group and thoughtful crowd on the planet, from the simplest hunter-gatherer society to the most sophisticated Mensa cafe’. It is this last group, these sincere seekers, with whom I have found I can have some of my best conversations.
You know where I am going to be coming from. I am, as I said, free thinking, but I am adamant about my Christian convictions as well, as you can see. There is nothing that will move me from my confidence, since I am standing upon a personal experience with my Lord, and not just an idea.
I have been in the Manifest Presence of my God and heard His voice audibly, so you won’t argue me away from my testimony. You can’t: The experience was as real as your eating breakfast this morning. I wanted to be up front and honest with you at the git-go. By a lot of peoples’ definitions I am a “religious nut”. Those of you who have met my Lord on similar ground, of course, understand that I am not. We who know the Lord will not be so easily dismissed.
Politically, I am not as immovable, but I am conservative. I am quite confident that I can defend my positions intelligently and fair-mindedly. I am not bigotedly dogmatic. If we do start a blog conversation, I might be persuaded to change my mind, if your argument is well enough reasoned. I am not partisan; I am thoroughly disgusted with both major parties and most minor ones, and I am not particularly confident that there is a political answer to our present global crises. I have little hope that there is a political solution to America’s present problems.
I think we may have passed a tipping point. I do believe that the Bible speaks of a terminal point to human history as God progresses through the phases of His Plan, but I am not a date setter. However, I also believe that the world has never before been so intricately and subtly aligned with the prophetic texts of the Bible as it is at this present time. We are certainly capable of bringing about our own demise, and are stupid enough to try to do so. The Bible says that God will stop us just before we do this, but not before we really make a mess of things.
But as an American citizen I have a Constitutional duty to be aware of and actively attentive to the process of our government, so for the moment I am making some effort to do this. The scriptures instruct me to be a good citizen of my country, in so far as my obedience to man doesn’t interfere with my obedience to my Lord. There may come a time when I will simply drop out of the political thing altogether, if I decide that there is no longer any hope for America, or if it threatens to compromise my faith in some way, but I’m not quite there yet. I do want this nation to survive and remain free since I live here and since I have kids and grandkids who are going to have to navigate the future long after my wife and I have moved on to more exciting places unless the Lord returns and tidies up our mess.
Finally, I am, I believe, qualified to engage in this conversation. Above all, I am a Christian with a clear and valid testimony and a fruitful life. You can read the testimony at www.rstoman.com. I will gladly let you talk with my wife and others who can vouch for my life. I have spent several years at Pinecrest Bible Training Center (now Bethany Bible Training Center). My wife and I pastored a small church for two years near Binghamton, New York. I have a Summa cum Laude degree in New Testament Studies from Houghton College (with minors in sociology and world religions and a concentration in philosophy). I participated in a three year ministerial internship at Tulsa Christian Fellowship. I have taught at the seminary level at Tulsa Christian Fellowship. I have spent the past 27 years in continuing study on my own. I have spent the past four years deeply immersed in the New Testament documents, and especially in Paul’s letters, and have so far written above 300,000 words of journal/commentary on these.
R. Stephan Toman ~ Master Woodsculptor
Web Gallery at www.SonriseWoodcarving.com