I’m sure you know the tragic story of Joshua Harris: a respected Christian author, a pastor for 17 years, and a leading voice for sexual purity in the Christian community, who left his wife, left his faith, and left Jesus.
It was a shocking moment for many, especially those who had been impacted by his writing and preaching. It was shocking to me. It made me question some things: how do we know if someone is truly saved? If it’s true that “you shall know them by their fruits,” how do I know which fruits are fraudulent and which ones are genuine?
Sometimes, to be a leader, you need to be defined not only by what you are but also by what you are not. This article is meant to describe what I am not. In this article, I want you to know that I am not a continuationist. I’m not writing this to persuade you to my camp, but just to explain why I am not a continuationist.
One of my favorite passages of Scripture is Hebrews 4:15, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” It reminds me that Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, understands my struggle. As I am tempted, I can look to the throne of grace where my great High Priest sympathizes with my weakness. What a baffling and glorious truth that God in flesh can look at my struggle and can honestly say, “I know what you’re going through.”
We use the word “love” in many different ways—from the trivial to the profound. I “love” Taco Bell, and I “love” my wife. One of those is a trivial love and the other is a profound love...and it better be clear which one is which! The real test of your love for any given person or thing is what it takes to lose that love. I love Taco Bell, but if they start using dog meat in their tacos or replace all their tortillas with lettuce wraps, I won’t love Taco Bell anymore. Why? Because I love Taco Bell for what they give me. If their food goes bad, I won’t love Taco Bell anymore—it’s a trivial love. My love for my wife should be much more profound than that. It should be deeper than any disagreement or obstacle that might come between us. In fact, my profound love for my wife should motivate me to resolve any disagreement or remove any obstacle that might hurt our relationship. If my love for my wife was like my love for Taco Bell, it wouldn’t take much to lose that love.
“Should I?” or “Should I not?”
We’ve all faced situations in which we’ve pondered both of these questions. Should I take the job offer and relocate myself and my family? Should I pursue THAT young lady? …or that other one? Should the church shelter illegal immigrants from the government? Should I vote for one of those candidates? Should I study Bible at college, or should I study business just to “play it safe?” Should I have that procedure done? These episodes, and others like them, vary from person to person, but they all prompt us to consider the will of God for our lives.
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