GOAL ONE: PREACH THE GOSPEL (Matt.28:19-20; 2 Tim. 4:2)
For nearly a year (45 weeks), Jeff Himmel and six other men at the Spring Warrior Church of Christ have written on a variety of religious topics beginning with “Why we believe in a God,” and ending with a series discussing some common misinterpretations of Scripture concerning the end of time. The articles ranged from the simple and non-controversial to more doctrinal and controversial. We discussed the nature of God and the Bible, the trinity, salvation, authority and worship.
GOAL TWO: EDUCATE OTHER FAITHS ABOUT US
When we began this series of articles, our initial mission was to publish 24 articles to see what kinds of responses, if any, we would receive. Because of the limited number of articles, we decided to write about some of the beliefs that separate us from other faiths. This way, people in the community could learn first hand what we believe, and the Scriptural basis supporting these beliefs (1 Pet. 3:15). Before we wrote the first article, we chose the topics we would write about, and in what order. Along the way, some of the responses we received led us to write additional articles.
GOAL THREE: ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO DUST OFF THEIR BIBLES
At Spring Warrior, we stress individual responsibility for studying, teaching and sharing God’s word (2 Tim. 2:15). One of the more subtle messages we tried to convey by having six men who weren’t preachers write articles is to give the readers some idea about Bible literacy at Spring Warrior. We have classes for children starting at 15 months. We have no nurseries. One Catholic said it best when he said, “Give me a kid until he is 5 years old, and he will be Catholic for life.” There is a lot of truth in that. We do not stress games and events, but Bible knowledge. Children can tell you where God lives before they are able to speak in complete sentences. Three year olds are encouraged to memorize the books of the Bible. Adult men are encouraged to preach from the pulpit.
Our belief in individual accountability even influenced our series title. Over the years, it has been our experience that when studying with one who is troubled by a particular passage in the Bible that they will commonly say that they will need to “ask their preacher about that.” We encounter this so often that before we wrote the first article some in our congregation suggested that the title of the series should be, “Ask your preacher.” We ultimately decided against the title because we wanted to encourage people to read the Bible for themselves instead of relying on someone else’s opinion to shape their beliefs.
JUDGING OUR WORK
By focusing on the differences between our beliefs and that of other various Christian faiths, we knew we would provoke thought. We received some many responses, the vast majority of which contained citation to Scripture. Although some of the responses did not agree with our interpretation of the Scriptures, we have nonetheless been heartened by these responses because they proved to us the following: (1) that individuals read our articles; (2) they felt passionate enough about what was written to respond (thus they had faith); (3) their citation to Scripture indicated that they opened their Bibles; and (4) from all appearances the writers prepared their own responses and did not rely on a preacher or someone else.
REASONS FOR ENDING FOR NOW
As anyone who has ever written a weekly series of articles can affirm, it is much easier to publish articles when you know months in advance what will be written, and by whom. We have exhausted our initial list of topics. We may decide to resume our articles again in the future. In the meantime, however, we encourage our readers to continue writing us about our past articles, or any other topic they wish to discuss.
If you know of a topic that you would like us to address, or a question you would like answered, you may send me an email to the above address with the phrase, “Prove All Things” in the subject line. If we resume publication of the articles, we may incorporate your suggestion or question (anonymously) into a series of planned articles.
If you want to read any of the past articles, you may find them reprinted in Adobe Acrobat (*.PDF) format at the following web site: http://www.bibleweb.com. Please note that the web site is my personal site, and nothing other than these articles have been endorsed or approved in any way by the elders at Spring Warrior.