whether ye be in the faith;
prove your own selves...
2 Corinthians 13:5
One of the things I hope to accomplish in an entertaining way with my Christian Fiction novel, Parting Ways, is to challenge readers to examine their walk with God. Do we really live what we believe? Do we even know what we believe and why? Have we ever disagreed with a church teaching? If so, what did we do about it?
I've heard some things preached that completely contradicted the very scriptures the preacher was referencing. What??? Unfortunately, most church gatherings are not designed for discussions. It's all one way. God forbid anyone question the pastor! But that's what we should do. If anyone preaches or teaches openly, they should be accountable for it openly. I can guarantee you this: There would be less bad doctrine taught if a preacher knew he was going to face questioning from knowledgeable elders.
We should all have a working knowledge of the scriptures. Paul wrote to Timothy, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)
In Parting Ways, I tell a story about an ambitious young pastor whose unique talents bring him before huge crowds in his denomination. He quickly rises through the church ranks, but the more he studies the Word and gets closer to God, the more he clashes with church leadership. On the edge of being promoted to his dream position in front of a global audience, he's forced to make a difficult choice - a choice that could end his ministry for good.
The story is fictional, but denominational doctrines not squaring with the Bible is all too real. Jesus chided the Pharisees because they taught for doctrine the commandments of men. Let's not be guilty of doing that. Let's be guilty of hearing and doing what Christ and the apostles taught even if we must part ways with traditions. It's the truth that makes us free - if we know it - not the denominational handbooks or Rev. Blackwell's Commentaries.
Examining ourselves starts with the word. Can we find our way in the scriptures? Are we walking by the light of the Word or by the light of the world? Here's a thought, let's read over this scripture the next time we get in front of the mirror...
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.(1 John 2:15-17)
Are we in the faith? Can we prove it?
UPDATE: The cover for Parting Ways has been selected and the book is getting formatted now. Lord willing it will be ready for release Monday, April 18th, 2011. Please visit PatrickSipperly.com for the latest news and updates.
Thanks for helping me spread the word out about Parting Ways and ChristianHomeChurch.com