It Was Him all Along

Published on 10/09/14

I still enjoy basketball though God has not allowed me to play it anymore. In fact, ever since the brain injury, just watching a full basketball game is a pretty big chore. So, when this video popped-up on my Facebook feed I was interested. It appeared to be a short clip of an NBA game featuring a dunk by an athlete I had never heard of before. Come to find out the player was actually recruited and signed by the Utah Jazz. Take a look…

This was very classy of the NBA and the Jazz. What a thrill for J.P. to get to do this! He is a cancer patient who was allowed to have a thrill of a lifetime. The little boy’s joy reminds me of the future when I will get to stand before Christ. I’m thinking of the Bema Seat when God Himself will judge every believers life’s work. The Bible says, that God will bring to light every action and thought that we ever did – the good and the bad. Of course, Christians will not be condemned for the bad works. Those are already forgiven by Christ’s work on the cross and will be burned without reward (I Corinthians 3:13-15). The good deeds, however, will be rewarded both by rewards and …. something else that is actually very amazing. Here is the passage:

“Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.” – I Corinthians 4:5

So, God Himself will praise us! How can that be? After all, anything good in us is only because of Christ. On that day we will be praised for things that we really had NOTHING to do with.

Patience, love, perseverance and even true-joy is the Holy Spirit playing out Christ’s character in us (Gal. 5:22-25). When we witness, it is also a result of the Holy Spirit rehearsing God’s eternal plan through our mouths and lives. In the same manner, local church ministry is the Lord accomplishing HIS WILL (our sanctification) in HIS OWN BODY (the called out assembly) by means of HIS OWN words (the Holy Bible). Yet, though we had nothing to do with “our” own good works, the Lord will still give us the credit! Amazing.

Realizing these things will make the Bema seat humbling – no doubt! It will also be humbling to have all our actions brought to light and see how much was actually forgiven. So, it will be humbling, but I imagine it will also feel euphoric. Like the sweet boy in the video, perhaps we will feel an incredible joy because of receiving a true affirmation that we so long for! Very few people get to make a slam dunk in the NBA. Much less a short little boy. Can you imagine! Now, imagine the tall and strong omnipotent God telling us that we did good and giving us rewards even though we did absolutely nothing. Indeed, we are without strength talent and ability; yet, on the universe’s biggest stage our Heavenly Father will be giving us high fives all around (metaphorically speaking). It will be epic! Indeed, somehow ”...each ones praise will come from the Lord.”

Oh Lord, thank you for redeeming me and loving me. Thank you for Christ. Please change me and sanctify me. Help me to be rid of this sinful flesh along with its pleasures. May I be rid of everything in my life that will be useless in eternity. Instead, may your fruit be produced in me. May you allow me to be Christ-like in all I say, do and think. Help me to simply be well pleasing to You. Someday, may I hear you say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” Then, I and all the redeemed will praise Christ for eternity. After all, it was Him all along.

PS – I can’t help but to think that perhaps there are those who stumbled upon this blog post who are not sure where they will go when they die. Is that you? Here is what the Bibles says:

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9

May I ask you, do you know for sure where you will go when you die? If there has never been that moment in your life when you realized you were a sinner and placed your faith in Christ, then I encourage you to place your faith in Christ. Take your faith off of whatever you may have tried to do to get to heaven, and place it on what Christ has already done.

The Bible says that we cannot get to heaven by being good. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast.”

Maybe you have more questions or doubts. If so, I would recommended reading the Bible. Maybe you are not even sure if the Bible is true!? That’s OK, I would encourage you to read the Bible anyway. The Bible will tell you much about your sin, the Savior and eternity. By the way, when you get into reading the Bible for the first time, the book of John is a great place to start.

Also, I would like to invite you to church. Of course, a church will not save you, but good churches are a place where the Bible is regularly and faithfully taught. If you don’t attend a good church, just ask! I or a friend who shared this post would love to invite you.

Bible-believing churches are made up of forgiven sinners. We try to please Jesus by what we say, do and think because we love HIm. “We love Him because He first loved us” (I John 4:19). In fact, the reason we shared this post with you is because we love you. Joy and forgiveness is so incredible that we can’t keep it to ourselves!

PPS – I love the Mario jingle in the video when they announce J.P. Gibson into the basketball game. Did you notice? How fun! My kids and I really enjoy playing Mario and know this song that plays at the end of the level when Mario leaps to the flagpole. Maybe this is what standing before Christ will be like for believers. The journey is hard and full of obstacles, but at the end we get to jump on the flagpole and see fireworks! Once we hit the flagpole the stages of this life will be done. Then the celebration of Christ begins.

In Praise of the Church

Published on 05/05/13

This morning marks about the fourth Sunday in a row that health has not allowed me to church. I really really miss it. Though the church we attend is small and struggling, there is no substitute for that sense of encouragement and admonishment from fellow believers. When I was impacted by the delectable truths of my own personal devotions this morning (Romans 12 and 13) I was reminded of the main reason why I LOVE church – it is where the living words of God are heralded. Preaching! The exposition of God’s Word. There is something about the “foolishness” of preaching (I Cor 1:23) which is uniquely used to convince, rebuke and exhort believers (2 Tim 4:2)!

As I miss and ponder the church this morning, my heart is burdened to encourage you. May I encourage you? Here are a few thoughts:

1) Pour your life into your church – it is God’s design! I believe that one of the reason’s to have a career is to fund one’s involvement in their own local church.

- Is your pastor not perfect? Pray for him. God wants to change him and can! Pray every time you are tempted to complain.

- Is your church getting boring? Personally, I think rehearsing biblical truths is never boring, but necessary. Check your appetite for the Word instead. Then add some life yourself by your attitude and demeaner. Just one spark can spread!

- Is your church changing too much? Hang in there, do what you can to be involved. Pray for your leaders. I find that most ministers (myself included) get a little off-balanced at times. If the leader’s heart is close to God’s, then God will bring them back around and things usually even out. There is a point where churches do fundamentally change and choose to leave sound doctrine. May God give you discernment, just make sure that you have no attitude or edginess better defined as a “root of bitterness”. You cannot please God with this heart condition no matter what state your church is in.

2) Love the church as biblically defined – it WORKS when Scripture is followed. There is no greater design to disciple believers than the biblical model. When it does not work, it is usually the simple fault of un-dealt-with sin of its members, leaders, or both. The main thing you can do is to allow God’s Word to do the work as it penetrates you. As God changes you, your church will change!

3) Finally, THANK YOU! Thank you to those solid churches out there. Thank you to those who faithfully preach the Word and actively live it while leading others to do the same. Thank you for allowing Christ to live in a visible, worldwide body which is tangible in your local assembly. We miss you! We love you. We praise God for you.

Keep looking up and moving forward. Christ is coming back anytime. It will be worth it all.

What does God Expect from Me?

Published on 11/28/12

A few months ago I had a bout with struggling for purpose. I was increasingly becoming discontent as I longed to have a life of active ministry as I did before I was physically disabled. In the emptiness I found myself searching, reading and pondering. All-the-while I felt empty inside. My heart longed for that elusive “secret” that would give me renewed resolve to make the most of my predicament. I tried several resolves. Each time though my physical limitations got in the way. Indeed despite my concerted effort God brought it to halt. You can imagine my growing frustration. The more I searched the more I hungered for the way life was (have you ever felt this way?). I lusted for a different “now” than what the now was giving me.

Then one morning, the Lord brought to mind the following passage:

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” – Micah 6:8

There it was! God’s purpose for my life was written there all along. I can’t tell you the encouragement the passage was to me. I have been thinking about this passage for a couple of months. You know, there are some truths here that can serve as a Northern star to guide all of us in our walks

Perhaps you are finding yourself at a crossroad. Maybe there are circumstances beyond your control in your life and you find yourself bewildered and without direction. Well, can I encourage you? In this passage (Micah 6:8) God gives direction. He tells us to…

1. Keep it Simple

In the passage, the prophet Micah is sent to proclaim judgement on Israel because there were lying prophets and wicked rulers. Israel was consequently facing conflicts with their enemies. Yet along with the message of punishment God tells them of the hope that can be theirs. He reminds them of the the future reign in Zion and the triumph and restoration which will come. By the time we get to chapter six, God is now pleading with Israel through His prophet. God is saying “Listen to me!” “This is what you need to do!”

Do you realize that the entire Christian life is narrowed down to this simple plea from God to His people? We often read endless books in order to discover the “brand new” insight into Christian living. It seems like every few years a well meaning expositor will introduce Christendom to a formula or a secret which catches on like wild fire in the church. The new concept, principle, or formula soon becomes old; however, and we then search for the next great church growth secret or formula for answered prayers. All the while God takes us back to what he has already said. Listen, no preacher author nor otherwise will ever have anything to say that is better than what God has already said. So God pleads with us just as He did to Israel through the prophet. “Have I not shown you?” It is as though he grabs us be the shoulders and turns us to look at what is already before us. “Just do this,” He pleads. “This is All I require of you!” Oh may we hear God’s plea.

May God forgive us for pursuing a thousand lesser things as though they were the main thing. We are often too busy doing what we think is good (or wishing to be able to be busy doing what we think is good in my case) and have lost sight of that which is required. We often attempt to make the Christian walk more complex or intellectually elusive than it is. May we just simply take God at his Word … and obey.

May God help us to keep it simple and..

2. Keep it Real

Indeed, God’s plea is simple that we sinfully try to complicate, but at the same time we can fall into the opposite trap. We can be so familiar with the commands that we fail to whole-heatedly pursue obedience to them.

These are simple requirements from God but at the same time they require a life-time of Bible study and spiritual struggle. Even with our full effort, we can only begin to explore the depth of what is required of us. All too often we are trivial at striving to grow in our walk with God. In our complacency we say “I’m doing all that is required of me.” when in reality we are lazily and sinfully taking advantage of grace.

I remember being really convicted in Bible College once when an evangelist was sent to chapel for a full week of revival meetings. It was spiritual emphases week – the first week of classes at Faith Baptist a bible College. Tom Farrell was the visiting speaker. You know, he can get pretty fiery and I remember sitting there as a Junior in Bible college thinking, “I don’t need revival!” After all, I was walking with The Lord. I had spent my summer sacrificially ministering for The Lord. I was “walking that line” and actually excited to dig into the studies and learn more about God and the Bible.

Then, during one sermon, Tom Farrell made a statement which was very convicting. He said something like, “If there has ever been a time in your life when you had a greater hunger for the Word, a higher standard of holiness or a greater love for souls than you have now; then you have back-sliden and need revival.”

God immediately convicted me. I had grown complacent. I was thinking that I was obeying well enough. Yet looking back my heart had gone astray and become arrogant.

Oh how sinful we are! Oh how easily our deceitful hearts can get off balance! May God help us to be 100 percent dedicated to these commands. May we passionately be searching his Word. Oh it is so easy to think that we are doing “well enough” in our Christian walks so that these principles are no longer vivid and real in our lives.

3. Keep it Going

As a response to God’s plea, Israel eventually cried out to God, (7:8-13) and God did hear and forgive them (7:13-20). I see a progression in this passage. After we have seen our miserable failure of keeping God’s simple command of doing what is just then we are at God’s mercy! Once they sought and found forgiveness there was only one thing they could do – walk with God again. The same is true with us. After we undeservingly taste God’s mercy then we have to brush-off and pick up where we left off. We start walking with God again but this time much more humbly. Thus Micah 6:8 says, “And to walk humbly with our God.”

God wants us to humbly and steadily walk with Him. No matter our circumstance and no matter the environment we find ourselves in – we can walk with God. God wants us to keep it going.

God says, “So you’ve messed up? – keep going.”

“Your shameful sin has found you out? Cling to mercy and be humbled. Then keep going.”

“You are completely overwhelmed and have no idea in which direction to go? I’m beside you,” God says, “just walk with me. I’ll show you.”


It has been about two years now since the doctors confirmed that the damage to my brain because of CO poisoning has resulted permeant defects. Before we exactly new the end-results Melissa and I were struggling but were still hopeful. I ran across an entry from my devotional journal written during that time…

Today’s Meditation – December 19, 2010

Well, unfortunately I am still not doing well. Cognition is not the best. Strength, balance, and coordination are still lacking. It is hard to be in that place between health and disability. There is no lasting strength to accomplish anything. On the other hand, there is no lasting weakness that merits complete rest. Yet, rest usually wins out as dizziness and weakness appears at any moment without warning. I short I have had a half of day of feeling just OK this week.

Uncertainty is commonplace as no-one can know for sure if these Carbon Monoxide caused effects are permanent or not. In other words there is no prognosis. The only prognosis that I have is that God is in control and that He ordains everything for His own wonderful purposes. This truth is enough to get me through each week, day and hour not matter how hard that may be.

My more recent struggles for purpose came because I had forgotten that truth that God reminded me two years ago on that day in December.

I do not know what you are going through. I have friends who are going through incredible trials much worse than my own. No matter the circumstance may I encourage you? God is in control and He ordains everything for His own wonderful purposes. This truth is enough to get us through each week, day and hour no matter how hard they may be.

So, when we’re struggling for direction, let’s start here: just do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with Him. Everything else will become clear in time.

The Closest Thing to My Wife

Published on 05/09/12

The following video moved me and reminded me of my wife. Not every detail in our stories are the same, but nothing comes closer to relating to who my wife is and what she goes through since my accident with CO two & a half years ago and the subsequent effect that my disability has had on our life and marriage. Some differences are that the function of my brain is up & down and only is occasionally as far gone as the gentlemen’s in this video. The other major difference is that God has added three precious little kiddos in our story.

The bottom-line is that I praise the Lord for godly godly wives; but most of all for the GOD who gives them the sufficient grace that they depend on day in and day out. Thank you Melissa for being such a wonderful wife and mother. Thank you for taking care of me. Thank you for your unconditional love. I love you honey!

Note: I have not read the book that is being promoted, so I cannot give a recommendation. God bless!

A Perspective on T4G

Published on 04/10/12

My heart is heavy with the whole Together for the Gospel movement. Doing a brief survey of the speakers, it appears that there are many from both reformed and Southern Baptist backgrounds.

It seems that the basic premise is: We can differ on ecclesiology and even on some eschatology but we preach the same gospel. We need to get back to the gospel.

Well, I disagree that such a conference and stance clarifies the true gospel, instead it confuses it and dilutes it.

Before I go on….I think those who know me would understand that I write this out of a spirit of love for our Lord and for the truth of God’s Word. This is not written because of a separatist bone-to-pick. I just believe that separating the gospel from the entirety of the Word of God would be as difficult and impossible as trying to separate the Trinity itself! Please know also that if you are at T4G then I do not condemn you. Neither do I judge the speakers and organizers nor their motives. I pray God’s blessing upon you and them as much as God can bless.

Now, here are some reasons why I think the whole T4G movement actually confuses the gospel:

- If one sprinkles infants this communicates a different gospel.

As a pastor and church planter God gave me the opportunity to minister to dozens from a reformed background. Many were confused as to how they knew they were really saved. Some were really depending on their child confirmation and baptism instead of a faith alone in Jesus Christ.

- If most of your missions is helping the needy instead of planting churches this is the social gospel and it is a different gospel.

While visiting churches looking for a church home here in Texas, I have observed several churches take missions trips to do such things as build houses, feed the poor, pass out water etc. While these are good things, I noticed that most of these “missions trips” had the articulation of the gospel absent. I would say that this is flirting very close with the false social gospel.

David Platt is a speaker at t4g2012. His teachings first seem inspiring as to global missions. While there is something to be gained, we need to be very careful. Brother Platt is one who is very non-committle on end time events. According to his church’s statement of faith, he seems to lean towards teaching that we are in the beginning of the Kingdom, as opposed to distinguishing the Kingdom as the future literal thousand year reign of Christ. In this statement of faith, Brother Platt goes to great lengths in describing why a type of social gospel is part of his dogma. Also, missions seems to be focused on articulating the gospel while doing good works with little to mention of church planting which is the model of Paul and the apostles.

- If your methodology, music, and philosophy is one of “attract a huge crowd while trying to be relevant to the world” then this confuses the gospel and creates a different gospel.

Those who are T4G might condemn me saying that I am placing my particular “brand” of theology in front of practical evangelism and discipleship. Well, all I have to say is that I live in a state that has swallowed the whole SBC for many years. I have visited dozens of churches. Most everyone attends some sort of Baptist Church (or church formerly known as Baptist). Most have ruined lives with a rampant divorce rate. Most know enough of the Bible to be dangerous but are not discipled at all. Here in Texas I have visited many churches who’s seats weekly are filled with many unregenerate people thinking they are Christians! Weekly they hear a something of the gospel, but the message is outshouted by many things. The gospel and the process of sanctification that comes with it is sadly hidden and almost absent.

Of course I am speaking in generalities about the SBC movement. I have not visited the particular ministries of the speakers of T4G 2012. From what I know of their writings and sermons, many are much more solid than what I have observed in other churches. In fact, many are reacting against the “American Idol” church scene that their denominations have produced. Yet, I cannot help but to think that the whole “nothing-else-matters-as-much” attitude is why the fluffy churches have become what they are.

- If one confuses the distinctions between Israel and the church then this leads to a different gospel.

Covenant theology is rapidly gaining in popularity. As a result, even some who claim to be traditional dispensationalist are suspicious of traditional dipensationalism. The Presbyterian influence is why you will see so many of these t4g men lean toward elder rule and what they articulate which we have labeled as Lordship Salvation. For example in MacArthur’s “The Gospel according to Jesus”, Dr. MacArthur uses many NT passages which dispensationalist traditionally attribute as teaching for the future Kingdom and uses them as though they were directed toward the church. In the same way, David Platt uses many Old Testament passages which are in reference to Israel and uses them as though they were meant for the church-age. One can easily see how confusion between the distinctions of Israel and a church leads to confusion on what is the very gospel message.

- If one may not practice yet condones the modern “manifestation” of the sign gifts then this confuses the true gospel and unites with those who teach that the baptism of the Spirit is something other than the true gospel.

While involved in Hispanic ministries, we have had hundreds of opportunities to interact with our charismatic friends and those who have made a profession of faith in that movement. I know dozens of people who have placed their faith in an experience rather than in Christ alone. Indeed, charismatic theology confuses the gospel.

There is more I can say about this. A popular speaker at t4g2012 ministers here in the Dallas area (Matt Chandler). His church practices all sign-gifts. This would include tongues & their interpretations, prophecies, and healing. The doctrine of pneumatology does effect the doctrine of soteriology. It really does! While I promise not to throw the baby out with the bath water of the positive contributions of these men (see the PS), I can tell you first-hand that many are taking the bath water with the baby of these men’s teachings. This breaks my heart. Already, I see many men swallowing the notion that the fact that the gospel is central means that other of the ten major doctrines do not matter as much! Sadly, the cohesiveness of the inherency and veracity of the Scriptures (which T4G embraces) is the very doctrine that is being inadvertently desecrated by saying that ecclesiology, eschatology, and pneumatology are not as vital in our obedience and carrying out of the great commission as long as we are together on the gospel.

We need a major revival back to teaching the truth with love. The Word (all of it!) when preached with compassion changes lives!!! The Bible, when practiced in its entirety, produces great and supernatural results. It is not trendy, but it works! More than that – it is right. There is GREAT unity when there is agreement on the truth of the whole counsel of God. You may not be seeing these results in the little church you grew up in, but trust me – the fault does not lie with the theology!

Many of these speakers may be “close enough” in their theology but I believe that the end result of this movement is not going to be a greater commitment to the true gospel; but a going away from it instead. Remember that when a ship’s rudder is only a little off, it gets further off-course through time.

Thank you for allowing me to share my perspective.

May God richly bless you as you search the Word and seek to be most pleasing unto our precious Savior.

David Whitcher

PS – (added on 4/12/11) May I speak to my generation of ministers? That is, the younger-ish grads from fundamental Bible colleges:

In the Seventies churches focused on evangelism (think tent revivals and busing in kids). While the churches in our circles grew and were strengthened so did the battle lines between Baptist movements. Some in our circles did indeed become arguably imbalanced in a focus on apologetics (think debates over PowerPoint and suits & ties) over further evangelism and discipleship. Thus new converts were not made. Discussions reached a boiling point a little over a decade ago when a popular church growth book came out which encouraged pastors to do everything with the driven-purpose of seeing the church reach and disciple the lost. It was one of the major books with SBC ties which rang true to those in our circles and to all Christiandom. It was refreshing and challenged many of us to self-evaluate, “Is our church really effectively doing what Christ commanded us to do?” Common sense hit many in the forehead as they realized that their church was done the way it was always done even though there was no longer a real purpose with tangible results. It was time for a change. Unfortunately, the book also encouraged pastors to instill corporate models of marketing into the church. We were told to do things such as survey the community to see what they wanted in a church. We were told that the most popular radio station should dictate the style of music in the church. We were told not to preach true expositional textual messages but instead to topically relate to the felt-needs of the seekers, i.e. the unsaved. Thousands emulated this book and others like it and the modern seeker-friendly craze was born. I am positive it was not Rick’s intention, but many began to look for methods that “worked” instead of stopping to think about what Christ wanted (this is also, if we search our hearts, why we were first attracted to these “ultra-cool” ministries – they looked like they were working. So much so, that there are those in our generation who became open to being lead away from what we once thought was Christ honoring – polity especially). Thankfully, men such as a couple of those who would eventually form T4G had mostly experienced the fallacy in the seeker-based model and re-emphasized the Gospel as central. Again, this was and is refreshing! For many pastors it is a breath of fresh air to listen to passionate speakers who are only talking about Christ, the Word, and souls. How refreshing to hear men who are setting up their churches to function around the Christ rather than the unsaved! Thankfully they have discovered that by doing so people ARE actually accepting Christ and being integrated into the church. They realize that the gospel means more than just tents and buses, but that it includes discipleship without gimmicks. The Holy Spirit within us affirms that this message trumps other messages we hear. Most in our circles were busy bashing the purpose-driven movement, the SBC, and the institutions who condoned them. Others were slowly embracing them. While the fight was raging we heard a third voice from these T4G men. They simply talked about Christ, salvation, and personal devotion to the fundamentals of the faith and the cross – all for the glory of God. (MacArthur’s “Ashamed of the Gospel” and later John Piper’s “Desiring God” come to mind). It was refreshing!

So, pastors attended these conferences and discovered that they came back more refreshed and challenged in their personal walk with Christ than they did by attending conferences in their own circles. Furthermore, the churches of T4G are apparently thriving much more than the churches we grew up in.

I certainly understand all of this. The problem is that the premise of the T4G movement is imbalanced because it is embraced as a reaction to other movements which were imbalanced. Just as with popular authors of the past, there is a sort of boyish crush on these men and many are seeking to emulate their passion & philosophy. Yet, in order to do so it means stepping on a path of minimizing the Scriptural truths that we were once convinced of as clear Scriptural truths. If you are one of these, then this probably does not set well with your former pastor, professors, and maybe even parents. The fact that many of you are in Kentucky today no doubt disturbs some of the older deacons in the very church you pastor. On the other hand, what is coming across as cynicism and militancy disturbs you. So, we have half of our constituency seeking to be more like the churches of T4G almost incognito and the other half concerned about it but cannot say much because so many of you are attending and receiving a genuine blessing from it.

So, in order to be at peace with it all, there has been a move to say that what we once thought were clear teachings of Scripture regarding specific points of ecclesiology, eschatology, and even pneumatology are not important or vital to pleasing the Lord as it turns out. Lately a friend told me, “I teach the pre-millennial and pre-tribulational return of Christ because that is what our church constitution states; but I am not so convinced of it myself.” The assumption is that this doctrine and others do not affect the gospel nor the fundamentals of the faith. They do, they really do. The other assumption is that minimizing these doctrines for the sake of having a unified voice with others articulating Christ-alone will create stronger disciples. This is the fallacy of the movement. The T4G men teach and preach their views in their own churches (reformed theology, full-use of the sign gifts, the non-commitle on the order of end-time events) as a means to (in thier view) strengthen the converts. Yet, we are supposed to minimize our beliefs so that we are comfortable sitting under these men’s teaching?

There are vibrant churches out there led by humble men who still believe and defend all the clear teachings of Scripture that you were once convinced of. Why not emulate them? We can invite them to speak. Allow their personal, joyful, real daily devotion to the Savior to strengthen our walk. Allow their passion for souls and love for the gospel to influence our churches. There are men who’s ministries are strong and have stood the test of time. They avoided knee-jerk reactions to all the evangelical trends that have come and gone over many years. Wht not make them our heroes? Why not follow them as they follow Christ? They are not published on our Kindles. They are not talked about in Christianity Today. They do not have a podcast. Yet they have been defending the gospel and pleasing our Lord Jesus with balanced vibrant ministries that have remained relevant to the ever changing culture (we can help them get a podcast). Don’t worry, we will not hear them articulate platitudes of “you should always wear a tie.” Neither will we feel negative bitter vibes about how everyone else is wrong. Still they believe how they do not because of being trapped in tradition or because of a fear of change but because they cannot get away from their convictions which are a result of a literal normal interpretation of Scripture. To me some of these humble heroes are my father, Dan Whitcher and my father-in-law, Tom Farlow. Also, great men like Dr. Robert Domokos and Dr. David Little. Let’s emulate them and those like them. Follow them as they follow Christ. In doing so, we will not have to pretend that pointing out the fallacies of practices such as “new” revelations & prophecies via tongues or the practice of sprinkling infants are not indeed necessary to a God-pleasing, soul-winning & sheep-strengthening gospel ministry.