January 8, 1974
Good to hear from you again. I must say this, you can come up with more theoretical questions and hypothetical situations than most anybody I have ever seen! Tongue in cheek – you are obviously thinking a lot about these things and that is not bad. On the other hand, it is possible to get too exercised and in too big a hurry to figure everything out, with the result of either
- rushing into a faulty decision which leads to error; or
- rushing into proper conclusions which lack the forethought and preparation necessary for a ready reception, with the result being the rejection of what is right and good.
An engine that races all the time can burn out or blow up. If you live a normal life, you have lots of time for things to settle in slowly and naturally. If you do not, God does not hold you responsible. I hope you are not offended by these comments: I see some of myself several years ago in you, and there were good brethren a few years older who gave me this same kind of advice, which proved to be good with the passing of time. I do not want to discourage your writing, or thinking, most of all studying. But just take a deep breath or so and don’t think (if you ever did) that you have to find out all the final and ultimate solutions now, or that you (or I) will ever find out all of them.
What matters most in Scripture is the fellow who will live each day with trust in God, resting in God, committing his way to God, and hoping and waiting on God. Psalm 34 or 37 talks about it real well – I don’t have a Bible right here.
One final thought on the man of faith (will say more later). As I read the Bible the thing that is most impressive is that God wants me to be a man of faith. That I can work on and strive after all my life with all my energies. Whether others do it or not, and God sees infallibly whether they do or not, is really not my responsibility. I am to tell them that that is what they must do, but my main concern is to do it myself. That helps me rest better at night because I cannot be responsible for others. I can just live a quiet and peaceable life before God, using opportunities He gives to do what He enables me to do with the talents and strength He bestows.
P.S. You have had some good material in your bulletin on the undenominational nature of the church. That is an important thing to remember.