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Guests Question, Bob Answers about...


"I found it quite interesting in your History of Theophilus that you seemed to be so shocked that some of your brethren disagreed strongly with some of your views."

I wasn't surprised at the disagreement. I was surprised at what my friends said about me in national publications, especially when they had made no contact to teach me from the scriptures. Their insults hurt!

During the years that followed, God healed me, softened my heart toward them, and led me to write letters of apology to each of them for allowing myself to be offended by what they had done. And I have forgiven them. They didn't know what they were doing anymore than I did when I treated people the same way. God is calling each of us to repent of that kind of behavior.

"While these poor 'friends' of yours remained in the darkness of legalism and Pharisee-ism, you were able to step out of the 'dense fog' in which you (and they) had been. What arrogance! What self-exaltation!"

Arrogance? Self-exaltation? No way! Pride was taking a beating! I was so ashamed when I realized that I had spent all those years serving the "One True Church" instead of the "One True Lord." My heart was also filled with gratitude to the Lord for showing me my error. And it has been with much reluctance that I have obeyed Jesus' instructions to put my story, warts and all, out years later where the whole world can see it.

I did nothing on my own. The Lord brought me out of that bondage. And He is leading others out as well. He will lead you out, too, if you will let Him. God loves you very, very much -- just the way you are -- but He loves you too much to leave you that way. The Lord wants a personal intimate relationship with each of us. Legalism interferes with that intimacy.

"If you believe you have now reached Nirvana and have escaped the 'shackles of religion,' why not just take a stand for what you believe rather than pretending that you have something your old 'friends' were just too spiritually immature to obtain. If you are convinced that you now know the truth, then preach it. But please save us from what appears to be a smug suggestion that you have somehow 'arrived.'"

I won't reach "Nirvana" until I go home to be with the Lord in heaven. I'm still on the journey. Closer to the beginning than the end. I haven't "arrived." Jesus is still teaching. I am still learning. No one (human) knows all truth. But I know some truth. And the Lord wants me to share it. So I do.

To God be the glory!!!

"Bob, the brethren beat up on you, they treated you miserably, but in this you are told to rejoice, not defect."

It is true that my friends failed to come to me with God's word, but attacked me publicly with insults instead. That hurt me deeply and I fought back -- which in turn hurt them. But that was over 10 years ago. In the meantime the Lord has healed me and softened my heart. Several years ago He convicted me of my need to apologize to these brethren for allowing what they did to hurt me and for the hurt I caused them in return. I forgave them and asked them to forgive me. Apparently, the Lord had been working on their hearts while He was working on mine, for they responded in kind. They, too, apologized. The Lord touched each of us deeply through this process.

I love all of God's children, even those who think it is their job to decide who is going to heaven. Jesus has shown me that legalism is destructive and intimacy with Him reveals that sin as it really is. I have no unforgiveness or bitterness toward anyone. My enemy is the powers of darkness, not flesh and blood.

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