I will continue posting in the "I told my wife" thread with updates on how things are going, but for now I thought I'd put this in a separate thread because it seems to me it would merit its own special responses apart from how things are going with the wife, etc.
I received an email from my father-in-law last night (remember, he is also a pastor in the same denomination we are members of). I will be taking a few days to compose myself to write out a thoughtful reply, but I would love to hear some useful things from you all that I could possibly use in part of my reply to him.
In sum, my wife talked to him the other day, and told her of my "struggling with the faith". She did not go so far as to say that I already consider myself an unbeliever or an atheist, but it sounds like (from his email) that she let on enough to get a very stern response from him. So, without further ado, here is the email:
I write having been in prayer for you and you family with Christian love and I write continuing to pray for you and I speak the truth to you in love, and I ask for your forgiveness ahead of time if indeed I am misrepresenting the situation.
I'm sure you're aware that <wife's name> has spoken to me about her concerns regarding your expressed "doubts", really lack of the true faith you have professed.
True faith, as you professed, may you receive this as a strong reminder, is, in part: a sure knowledge whereby I hold for truth all that God has revealed to us in His Word.
If, indeed, you have doubts about what is truth, than you are in effect doubting God's Word as Truth, and, to make such doubt even more critical, you are doubting Christ Jesus who is the Truth manifested in its fullness. So if indeed you have doubts about what is truth, you are no longer having your thoughts in captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor 10:5). To doubt any scriptural doctrine is to place yourself as judge over the Scriptures. In essence, it's the oldest sin of wanting to be as God. It's characteristic of existentialism ( very similar to postmodernism), in that you are then essentially claiming that existence precedes essence. That is, you are the determiner, as the source by existence, of what is of essence- truth. That view suppresses the truth of the primacy of God as the Creator and the interpreter of all facts - God is the objective reality outside of you, and by His revelation by way of the creation and more fully by His Word reality, truth, is knowable by us, unless we suppress it in unrighteousness. Of course, all men in Adam do just that ( Rom 1), but in Christ our minds are renewed to acknowledge His Word as truth as we then so confess.
Now if you do have doubts about what is truth, then you have allowed "foolishness" ( I Cor 1: 19-21) to detrimentally influence your mindset. This can sadly be the case for us who are Christians because we live in the "not-yet" which is prior to our full sanctification and perfection through the resurrection. Wrong thinking, is for us, lack of due diligence to "watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation" (Matt 26:41). It's a matter of not putting off the old man and putting on the new man. It's a matter of not paying careful heed to what Christ's apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesian Christians: This I say, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk in the futility of their mind. (Eph 4:17. Rather...be renewed in the spirit of your mind. And then he goes on in Chapter 5 and tells us to walk as children of light, testing and approving what is pleasing to the Lord.
Are you doing that, Jeremy? Are you renewing your mind with the Word of God or are you putting foolishness into it? Are you testing your thoughts and your actions by the standard of God's Word ...because when you do it's easily clear what is and what is not pleasing to God. And then, are you approving of what is pleasing to God...making it your choice in line with what is pleasing to God? I just preached on Eph 5:10 ..I would encourage you to listen to that sermon...it's at <website>.
Jeremy, it's a matter of renewing you mind and God will do that as you make use of His Word and stop putting foolishness into it.
That is your calling as a Christian and especially as you are the spiritual head of your household --my daughter and my grandchildren. You are as Christ to <wife's name>, and you corrupt the marriage metaphor if you do not believe and witness and teach the truth to her. And you vowed at the baptism of your children to bring them up in the nurture of the Lord, the Truth, and it is your responsibility before the Lord to faithfully do so.
Your lack of belief in the truth, if that is indeed the case, is sinful selfishness because it shows no concern for the welfare of your wife and children.
I believe this is a backsliding episode in your life, and the Lord will sanctify you, but it might be by way of hardships and misery that will impact your family.
That is avoidable if indeed you repent and and get your mind renewed to again think God's thoughts after Him, submitting to Him as you have been redeemed to do for His glory and your delight in Him.
I know wiley ways of the devil and so I understand how you can come to mistrust God's Word. But read nothing but Scripture and books that affirm the doctrines of Scripture and once again you will come to know both intellectually and experientially that by Christ all things were created that are in heaven and on earth....all things were created through Him and for HIm and He is before all things and in HIm all things consist. (Col: 1:16-17).
Any one who does not grasp the preeminence of Christ and the surpassing excellence of God will live a wasted life.
Don't waste your life by keeping on going down that path of doubt.
Be the husband and father you can only be by the grace of God in whom you must place your trust as the Truth.
I pray you will heed these prayerful words of one who loves you and wants what is best for you, and your beloved family.
Feel free to write or call. I'm here to help.
In Christ with love,
So, thoughts? Keep it clean
Edited by electech98, 10 May 2012 - 05:11 PM.