Thursday, July 28, 2011

Uncle John is with the Lord

My friend, mentor, and inspiration to ministry is now with the Lord. Uncle John (Stott) passed away. We met 27 years ago in London at All Souls and 6 years later, he would commission me missionary envoy to the US, beginning my ministerial career to this day. Uncle John wanted me to give my mind to the Lord's service and despite all my excuses, he hounded me until I made the decision to leave the world of legal practice for a ministry of the mind. He generously gave me his personal endorsement and opened many doors of opportunity everywhere I went. He remembered me to others whom he had influenced and tried to keep us all in contact with each other...but we were all 'too busy'. We kept in touch during my annual visits to London and his visits to New York City. I was privileged to introduce him at the American Bible Society to pastors in New York. We last spoke a few months ago when it was already apparent that he would soon be in paradise. Although I am glad that John is no longer in pain, I am saddened, deeply saddened beyond words.

Ron Choong

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Reason For God: If Jesus Is So Great, Why Are Some of His Followers Such Jerks?

The Reason for God-If Jesus is Great Why His Followers Such Jerks?
“Don’t you have doubts about any religion that has so many fanatics and hypocrites? Non-religious people can be more kind and moral than many Christians I know. If Christianity is true, why are so many non-Christians living better lives than Christians?”

The Christian faith actually teaches ‘common grace’: That no matter who performs it, every act of justice, wisdom and beauty is empowered by God who gives good gifts across all humanity to enrich and preserve the world. (James 1:17) So we should not be surprised that people who have yet to know Christ personally are capable of goodness and wisdom.

The gospel also speaks of the seriously flawed character of genuine Christians. Since we are justified by grace not by our works, we should expect the church to be filled with broken people who still have a long way to grow spiritually, morally and emotionally. They don’t have to ‘clean up’ their lives before becoming Christians.

“The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints”. It is not a self-help program.

RC Sproul: The Christian church is one of the few organizations in the world that requires a public acknowledgement of sin as a condition for membership. In one sense the church has fewer hypocrites than any institution because by definition the church is a haven for sinners. If the church claimed to be an organization of perfect people then her claim would be hypocritical. But so such claim is made by the church. There is no slander in the charge that the church is full of sinners. Such a statement would only compliment the church for fulfilling her divinely appointed task”.

Consider someone with a broken past who becomes a Christian and her character significantly improved over the years. But she still may be less secure or disciplined than someone who is so well adjusted in a non-Christian, stable family environment. Unless you know the starting points of their life journeys, you can easily conclude that Christianity is not worth much. But it would not be a fair conclusion.

Read on for the entire transcript