In your episodes "To Obey Is Better" and "Redeemed From the Pit" regarding Theophilus healing his mother at the commandment of God and Duane Miller's healing on the radio, and some of your earlier episodes where Theophilus is healing in the name of God, I kept feeling a sudden burst of overwhelming emotion, and tears came to my eyes. I couldn't understand why. I wasn't sad, and I wasn't afraid. "This is just a cartoon," I told myself, "and some of it smacks a little too much of 'organized religion' for a free Christian like me... what is going on??"
As I read on, and Theophilus said that expecting God's will to work in your own time was "putting God in a box," it all hit me like a thunderbolt. That exact phrase is what I have been using in writing down my own theories about the way people treat God's will.
I excused myself from work and immediately went home to tell my wife, because God commanded it. As I was telling her about my excitement, the dam burst. I began to sob almost uncontrollably. I was in total confusion as to why. Then, it was made clear to me by God that what I saw in the example of Theophilus was the very search I was making to understand God's healing. I understood at last that it was in HIS will, and not in mine to heal. All the resentment I felt and doubt in my ability to heal and be healed in God's name was banished.
I grew up in Christian Science, and in pursuit of the healing power of God. Resentment for the hypocrites, and an overall feeling of needing "something more" led me on my own spiritual path, which has led me from atheism back to Christianity. It has been a spiritual war within me of epic proportions. I have just now in my life reached a place where I feel I am on sturdy ground. I searched for the Truth that God's will guides us -- that I found. I searched for the Truth that God loves us -- that I found. I searched for the Truth that God heals us.... I swept that under the rug.
Your comic helped me realize that it is God's will WHEN to heal. I know that he DOES heal, because he has healed me several times -- but I could never make it work when I wanted it to. Now I understand why. But more importantly, here is what I am thanking you for. When I looked on Theophilus acting in courage at God's command, and healing in God's name, God was speaking to me! That was why I felt those bursts of overwhelming emotion. I had to go home to my wife (praise God for her!) in order to let it all out, and let God in -- like dross separating from gold.
Thank you so much for delivering His message to me today. I will never forget it. Thank you for tears of joy.
The past two weeks have been a time of tremendous discovery for my husband and me, and for our two children. We are so thankful to God and His Holy Spirit for allowing us to have peace during this ordeal.
I just discovered your website yesterday. Today, as I read through the very personal details of your life which you share in your Theophilus cartoons, tears are streaming down my cheeks and I thank God for allowing me to find other Christians, particularly mature Christians, who have already taken this journey. God bless you and your family.
I'm 39 and I was "raised in the church." For most of my Christian life it was a vicious cycle of trying, failing, guilt... then staying away until I tried again, repeating this cycle for 20 plus years. Never growing and always trying to "stay saved." Six years ago I knew I wanted to serve Jesus -- to really serve Him. It was a turning point in my life because it was the first time I committed to seeking truth -- no matter what it was and no matter what changes it would bring. Wow! Were my eyes opened!!!
These last few years have been the most joyous, the most productive, the most blessed, the most peaceful years of my Christian life. Even when I realized that my foundation was crumbling. This was the most trying and difficult of times. But it was also the time when I feel I really trusted Jesus for the first time. I prayed many times, "Jesus, I don't know what to believe anymore. I just know that You died for me and I will start there..."
What a blessing to read your comic strips!!! It's funny and yet terribly sad at the same time. It brings back so many, many memories. I truly do feel that we were brainwashed in a sense, and I also feel that I was too lazy and too comfortable to really quesiton anything for most of my life. I agree one hundred percent when you talked about reading the scriptures to see what they actually say, instead of reading them to confirm what you already believe. Thank you so much for the blessing you have been to me. God bless you and your ministry and your brutal honesty. What a blessing you are!!! Sincerely, your sister in Jesus...
Years later in my late 20s, I had the opportunity to try and save the Baptist preacher that I worked with. "Jim" was big and tall and a real macho-looking guy who had a heart of gold. He was so patient and kind as I told him over and over that he was in the wrong boat. His way wouldn't make it, his boat would sink. It was this same wonderful man who had a part in my eyes being opened.
We worked in a warehouse and one day I overheard Jim talking to one of the drivers. Words cannot describe how convicted, how humbled, and how ashamed I felt, for here was "lost" Jim telling this driver, who was scary and mean looking, who was dirty and smelled bad... that Jesus loved him. That he needed Jesus in his life. Here was big macho Jim talking to a biker-looking dude about love. Not about the Baptist Church, but about a guy named Jesus. And the beauty of this was that the driver was listening intently to Jim. Jim knew the simple power of the gospel and I didn't. I knew in my heart of hearts that I would have never given this guy a chance. It was one of those moments that I knew that something was wrong with ME and that Jim had something I didn't have -- faith. Praise the Lord for times like these, and especially for believers like Jim!
Thank you for your Theophilus comic strip. Not only is it wonderful, I see it as a tool to help folks understand just how far and narrow a road legalism takes people. May the Lord continually bless you and Sylvia.
I became very attached to Honey and Sketch through their journey. I so wanted to hear the end of their story because we are at a similar point in our relationship as they were at the point you put Theophilus on hold to do the new "Our Father's Children" serial comic strip. Employment questions, ministry direction, my ill health; too many similarities to go into now... but I would appreciate knowing "what happened next," especially in the "trust" area with Honey, and then with her keys. Is there a book where their story continues? I would love to know how they handled the "lost keys" problem, how things turned out for them, and where did he go to work, both for the Lord and as employment.
You and sister West may not know until we meet in heaven how you have helped. Thank you!
(Response from Bob: Concerning the "Honey and Sketch" story, there is much more to tell. Perhaps the Lord will have me tell it someday.)
Thank you both for ministering to me these past few years. Your love and graciousness are evidence of His Life in you! Much love to you both!
Your latest series of Theophilus strips has an uncanny parallel to some of the recent events in my life. My wife was disabled in a car accident in 1998 with RSD. After being able to pick and choose jobs, I can only find part-time work as a Systems Analyst. I find it uncanny that Honey has mysterious chronic pain, as does my wife. I seem to suffer from almost all of Sketch's issues, incluing weird dreams, which I know for some reason have a meaning that God will show me someday. My wife and I have this longing for a new home. We can't seem to explain it. There seems to be no practical reason for the desire and we have little means to pay for one. I remember Sketch also had this issue. Also subjection is an issue in our marriage. Like Sketch, subjection is not an issue I have any strong feelings about, but it seems to be an underlying issue that I cannot shake.
As far as I know, my wife does not read your cartoons. She is a member of the (name of church withheld) and they are taught not to read any religious publication unless it is published by someone who is both one of them and approved. My wife, however, listens to me talk about your strip, marvels at the parallels to our lives, and asks me what happens next. It is as if we are looking to your strip as a vehicle for God to show us that He is in tune with our situation and will provide resolution in time.
God is speaking through you. I know that because calling events circumstantial is just a rationalization to avoid giving God credit for a plan that He did not consult with us to execute. There are no accidents. God let me see this website. May God bless you to continue to see beyond your nose.
I had misunderstood some things about church and Jesus, but God has used your cartoons to teach me better and remove the confusion. Similar to when He uses little kids to teach us simple truths. Sometimes when I don't feel like reading my Bible, one of the cartoons might quote a scripture and I end up opening my Bible to see.
I like the way you have allowed the Holy Spirit to be free with you and you don't have Him in a (church) box. It's encouraging and inspirational. Thank you!
When I started reading Theophilus, I felt God talking to me. So many of my questions were answered, but the most perfect one was "God's timing is his own and we should never interfere and demand things from him." We should always wait upon him.
Theophilus is what every Christian needs. I am going to do my part by making sure that my friends and family know about this website. I know that it will help them as much as it did me.
Brother, I just want to tell you how much of a blessing your comics and essays have been to my life. They have helped me realize that I have to read the Bible looking for God's revelation, not to prove my theology.
I love you, Bob, and I pray for you and your family daily. May the Lord rain down blessings on your life and bless you abundantly.
(Response from Bob: Thanks so very much for your prayers, encouragement, and blessings. The information on that weekend of spiritual renewal may be found on the Emmaus web site.)
Three months later, this person confessed to me that one day he felt "something go out of him" and for three months he had not had the tiniest desire to drink alcohol, and had not had a single drink. Then he admitted that he had been drinking steadily morning, noon, and night for over 20 years and had not had one sober day (or even hour) in over two decades! He had tried for years to break the habit and gave up, but then one day he just suddenly didn't care for it any more.
I thank my God for you and Theophilus, for you have so many times confirmed what the Lord has revealed to me.
1 John 1:7 tells us what TRUE fellowship is -- walking in the Light (exposed, real, intimate, daily, compacted together relationships, Hebrews 3:12, 13) -- NOT this getting dressed up to be an audience to listen to a speech thing that happens billions of times every week. That's not fellowship. Not according to Jesus.
Thanks for doing what you're doing. It's good.
My house was completely destroyed by fire 4 years ago. I had no insurance. At the time I was laid off with 3 years to go to be able to start collecting my retirement. I lost my insurance and had to go on my wife's until retirement or lose it totally. As you see I can really see myself in your cartoon! Not only that, but I rebuilt the house on offerings through the mail from people I did not know, as God told them to give me $50-$100!
Therefore, I believe God has spoken to me and I have created a page on my site for your cartoon. Thank you in advance for helping to make our web site just a little more popular.
I long to see a church that is not encumberered with so much traditional baggage that keeps them from following Jesus as they should. It is my dream to see to it that everyone on the planet gets at least the chance to get to know Jesus. I am sick of seeing people won to a five-step plan of salvation without even a mention of the cross. I am sick of seeing people so stuck on restoring the Biblical form of church without giving any thought to restoring its function.
You are absolutely right, we have taken our eyes off of Jesus and have set them on other things. "We are the one true church" we say and we place our confidence in our knowledge of scripture rather than in our God. Our pride, it is sad to say, has been our downfall on a lot of occasions.
Thank you Bob for writing and publishing your Theophilus cartoons. I enjoy them a lot.
I realize now that God gives different gifts to each of His children as HE so determines their needing them. Not simply because it's something we desire but because HE pleases. I hear the Lord saying to me, "What do you think I'm doing in YOUR life right now? Why are you looking in someone else's back yard as if the grass were greener. If you keep your eyes there, you will miss out on what I'm doing in yours!!!"
So for now I'll be content in simply knowing Him. There's an eternity of experience in that alone. I may not have experienced things like tongues and healings, but I have and am experiencing Him in His amazingly awesome grace and love. Perhaps "the greater gifts" that Paul speaks about in 1 Corinthians 12:31 are knowing Him and that grace and love He has for us.
My faith has grown tremendously over the past couple of years but I know there's still so far to go. I want to live in the light and faith that He has given to me but there is this deeper longing for more. I know that's a good thing. I'm just not sure what to expect from Him. Could it be that healing, and other miracles, in the way that you and others in your journey have experienced, is something that the Lord does for some but not others? Is it merely (merely...that's a gross understatement) the strength of one's faith that God responds to?
By the way, I just read Sylvia's forwarded message on the Betty Baxter testimony. That's an incredible story! I do believe that Jesus can work that way today. I ain't no dispensationalist that puts God in some timetable box and says, "He doesn't work that way anymore." But I can say that I've never experienced the Lord in the way that you share.
So what am I saying/asking? Every time I read your toons I feel this longing in my heart to know this side of God that I don't know... that I have not experienced. I thought that when I left the "institutional church" for "home church" that that would be it... where the Lord was directing my path. I get this sense that He wants so much more for me. And I want so much more of Him.
Bob (and Sylvia), I'm typing this message now with tears in my eyes, sensing the Master knocking on my heart. I ask you as brother and sister, who have walked where you've walked, to share with me how I can know Him this way. I don't think I'm saying that I need this "experience" for my faith to be stronger but I have this need and desire to know if there's something more that God wants me to experience. Does any of this make sense?
Please share with me whatever the Lord may have for you to give me on this. --Dave
(Response from Sylvia: Dave, I sense one thing for sure. God loves your soft, pliable heart very much. He knows how much you long for Him and the things of Him and unfortunately we each (you and Bob and I) have to keep learning that His timing is everything. So when He is ready to bestow "whatever" on you, there will be no stopping Him. But until then, we all wait on Him.
No one was more surprised than we were, the times we saw God working in our lives. Undoubtedly He does this all the time, but sometimes you just notice and say something inane, such as, "WOW!" Cause then it seems so personal. You know He works in other people's lives, but yours?
I don't believe that it really has anything to do (normally and usually) with how much faith we have, how godly we live, and so on and on. It's just a God thing.
Like how could He let Betty Baxter suffer all that pain and deformity all those years and then (so to speak), decide to heal her at that particular time? Only He knows. But look at the testimony she has now because of it. Awesome! Imagine Jesus sharing with Betty and her mother the exact time when she would be healed, so they were able to have witnesses there, who were familiar with her condition. His ways are indeed mysterious. And the more we understand, the more we don't understand.
We had no idea when our new friends came to visit that weekend, that Bob would be healed of his long-standing physical problem. Or the weekend we went to visit our other, also new friends, that all that back and neck healing would take place. We had never even seen such a thing and were pretty skeptical, but willing to receive. We had never met the two who were used to doing this. Our friends invited them over, just for us all to get acquainted.
I believe that God is sovereign and as it says in Psalms, God sits in the heavens and does what He pleases. And if we could understand Him, He would not be big enough to take care of us all. I believe that He is pleased when we continue to ask for more and more of Him. I don't think that He wearies of us asking. He has plenty for all of us; it's just that He doesn't seem to have the same for each of us. But whatever He gives us, it's right for us personally.
I personally would not desire to have a testimony like Betty Baxter. I'm a coward in that respect. I don't like pain. It's a big body and we each have a place, wherever God places us. And He gives us the gifts we need to be a useful part of His body.
Bob and I will continue to pray for your heart's desire to see and experience those things that God has for you and we trust God to provide them to you, in His time.)
What shocked me most about the prayers of healing was that they are not what I was taught. I was taught to use the scripture in every prayer, but your characters just prayed in the authority given to them by Jesus! Awesome!!!!
(Note from Bob: Yes, this is autobiographical. It happened just like I've shown in these episodes of Theophilus, only it was more awesome to be there and actually experience what happened in person.)
On the first week in January, we had a time of prayer and fasting with several others who we fellowship with. A number of people got together each evening to sing, pray, and seek the Lord for His direction. As the evenings progressed, so did His anointing. We've been out of "church" for some time, and sometimes it has been a little dry. During this time together, though, I had such a beautiful sense of unity, family, and favour of the Lord. It was as though Jesus were giving each of us a piece of a puzzle, and we only had to give our piece to the others. There was no competition, or other agendas, only Jesus mattered. We came off of our fast together with a small meal, and just enjoyed each other and talked about what the Lord was doing.
The next day was Sunday. We met together and had a beautiful time of worshipping the Lord. Then they "served communion" (leavened bread and grape juice). My wife and I abstained. It was hard, because of us being so close to the others and recognizing the Lord's anointing. In some places, if you abstain from "communion," people may think you are in sin, or whatever, but we knew we weren't, and had a peace about abstaining because we were doing it by faith unto Jesus. We have it by ourselves at home, and it is OK for now. Hopefully we'll be able to explain everything to them later, but I realize that I should be prepared for some violent reactions.
I am currently the preacher at the (name of Church deleted). I have for many years, due in part to C.S. Lewis, believed that God still did miracles today though I have never believed He had anything to do with the kind that are advertised and produced for mass consumption and to glorify an individual.
I was very impressed with your cartoons on that concerning your mother's healing. The conclusion is right on! And you communicated it better and more clearly than I ever could. Thank you and praise God that you use the gift He gave you so well.
The next day I delved into "Theophilus and the Powers of Darkness." Because of my background, my first response to the series was that it was a lot of "charismatic nonsense." However, I just couldn't get over how closely the events in your life that led to your leaving the "One True Church" paralleled events in the lives of other Christians I have known who have had to leave the "Church of Christ." Neither could I manage to shake the memory that I had of being told that I was drifting into liberalism because I had come to the conclusion that the Holy Spirit does in fact literally dwell within the child of God.
I want to personally thank you for writing the strip. The episodes on demonic activity served to validate some of my own experiences. The episodes on using wine rather than grape juice in the communion have deepened my understanding of the Lord's Supper. (Although, I don't know exactly what to do with that knowledge since I doubt that my congregation would be willing to change from grape juice to wine.)
I can also relate to the cartoons about receiving dreams from God. I think I have gotten two of them. Its good to know that I'm not crazy for thinking that a dream is from God.
Furthermore, the cartoon and article on pornography are helping too. Last night I gathered together all of the sexually explicit literature in my home and burned them in my sink. Then I verbally renounced all impure thoughts and commanded any/all demons that were striking me with sexual temptation to leave me. I feel much better than I did before. Sometimes things pop into my head, but when I command the demons to flee and try to take my thoughts captive and submit them to Christ I gain a victory. I feel like a burden has been lifted off of me for the first time in 10 years. I thought you should know this.
Right now I am struggling with the subject of spiritual gifts, "The Perfect," and I Corinthians 13. I downloaded the article called "The Perfect." It is perhaps the most cogent explanation of the topic I have read to date. Tomorrow I am scheduled to teach I Corinthians 13 at church and I have some fear that brethren will be angry at me for not teaching the traditional bit about the New Testament being "The Perfect." Of course, I am somewhat prepared for this because the Lord has revealed to me in a dream that I am poised to experience rejection.
I have to admit that I have a hard time believing that spiritual gifts are for today. Of course, I have a hard time believing that they are not for today also. I guess I'll take things one day at a time. On that issue.
As spiritual things have come into better focus I have come to a gradual realization that my reservations against church kitchens and instrumental music are man-made. These scruples were ingrained into me as a religious form -- a list of rules to serve as a substitute for Jesus.
Sometimes it seems like I am changing so fast that I am getting dizzy. Then other days I feel like I am spiritually stagnant. Perhaps spiritual growth comes in spurts. If you have any suggestions to offer on how to come through this time, please let me know.
I am glad the Lord brought me here. Theophilus is a breath of fresh air, which rejuvenates the spirit in truth and love. God is an on-time God. This was on-time for me and whenever I get the good news, I must tell somebody! I have laughed and cried. I have prayed and now I praise Him for showing me like-spirits in Him!
My husband loved the one on "why Jesus became a man." Please keep up the good work.
When I began to "back off" from forcing my wife and others to see and understand what God was teaching me, I began to see fruit. However, as time went on I continued to grow more frustrated in the IC (institutional church) where we were members. I grew more tired of being a spectator and being preached at instead of living in this relational, intimate Body life that I had begun to see and taste. My passion grew along with my frustrations. Over this past year I dropped out of all the committees I had been on and decided to no longer teach High School S.S. I was tired of the programs and the superficiality that I was seeing. I also began to see relationships strained there. Even though I was less verbose I believe many folks were not comfortable with me around. So I told my wife one Sunday that I could no longer go. I knew it was time to move on. She was quite sadden for a while, but praise God she has begun to embrace this freedom in Christ as well and so has our son.
There is still so much of the "IC" in us (it's all we've known all of our lives), but it is refreshing and exciting to simply trust and walk in Jesus and not depend on any man. I got into bashing the traditional church for a while, focusing on the negative, but God continues to teach and mold and transform me and my family, so my focus has been captured there. I am learning, as one brother put it so succinctly, "It's not about IC (institutional church) or HC (home church). It's about JC (Jesus Christ)!!!" Amen.
Thank you for ministering to me, Bob, in your toons and words. I am grateful for those like you that have gone on before folks like me.
Your cartoon is making me pray, "Is there anything like that in my life??" Not necessarily something I have created, but anything? Hmm, nothing comes to mind right away, but I will be open to the voice of God.
Thanks again for Theophilus!
This little cartoon strip has been a strange delight! Sometimes we ask, "Lord, are we crazy? Why isn't it all easier? Why doesn't everything make more sense? What is going on with Christianity?" He may not reply, but he may encourage us along the way. Thanks, Mr. West!
Keep spreading the word.
This past Sunday, I resigned as the high school Sunday school teacher at my "one true denomination." I announced it to the kids so that they would know the real reason that I stepped down. I explained to them that Jesus' message and the faith handed down to us from the apostles was simple, yet profound and strict, yet free. However, in the bounds and constraints established by the Church leadership, I could not follow the leading of the Holy Spirit to teach them about this simple, beautiful faith -- because in many cases, it is in direct conflict with the doctrine held by the denomination. And since I was being warned to not stray at all from the SS materials (last year I was commended for the "creative" classes and didn't use any preprinted lesson materials -- except the Bible and what the Holy Spirit gave me), I was compelled to leave so that I could follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. I assured them that I was not leaving Christ and if anyone wanted to talk to me about this decision, to give me a call.
Two kids stayed after class to talk with me. The SS director also came to talk with me and told me that the materials were specifically structured to keep people from straying from "our denomination's beliefs." Since we talked before about how those beliefs were inconsistent with the "whole" of Scripture, I asked if we were to follow the denomination and ignore the truth of Scripture; are we to follow man-made doctrines instead of Jesus' words? ...well, needless to say, the conversation was over. And my questions of this denomination's doctrine are still unanswered.
I felt amazingly free as I walked out of there -- I went home and worshipped my Lord freely -- it was awesome.
I am now searching for home churches that meet in my neighborhood -- and while I could not find any before, now I am finding several -- GO FIGURE! I am supposed to meet with them on Friday.
I have passed on your webpage to others, and many have enjoyed your cartoons and dialogs. Many of these people are non-Christians (like myself) who are heartened and encouraged by your work. Yours is a refreshing voice in the wilderness that is Christianity in America today.
Thanks again. Jesus has brought us so much needed encouragement and healing through "Theophilus."
Reading through your cartoons, I see that I'm not alone. I continue to struggle with anger and despair concerning the Church I began my journey with Jesus in, but my Lord is encouraging me with friends who love me even when I don't agree with them and with finding out that God is loved and lifted above ritual in many places all around the world.
Within the last month we have received word that the company I work for will be moving many of its people to another state. Things aren't looking good for me to stay with the company. I have a lot of mixed feelings about what direction I should be going in. My family is even at a point that they are open to relocating, but it would be very expensive for us.
So like Sketch (in "Go," "A Test of Faith," and "An Answer to Prayer"), I will begin to pray for God's clear direction.
Thanks for being open to God's work.
My husband has felt like he's "been on the shelf" as far as ministry has been concerned and the possibility of a move into leading a Christ centered alcohol and drug rehab center (something dear to our hearts) was opening up. When we went to check it out, the whole thing had changed, and we were not needed there. We both really did not want to move, but had prayed "If You want us to be there, that's where we want to be." I think we passed that test, just like Sketch! Now the Lord seems to be opening up "work in His kingdom" right here where we are.
I have always had a very strong "sixth sense" about a lot of things. I know God has given it to me, because I have seen Him use it for His glory. I want Him to take complete control of me, but sometimes I just don't know how to let Him. I'm going to try and join one of your discussion groups to get some people to pray with me that I will see what Christ wants me to let go, and how He wants to use me.
Thank you again for what you do. I especially like what you've written about using wine for communion.
I have thought that if I just had the right and proper words to speak to her and others that they would simply understand, but so often I have created more damage in those relationships instead.
Sketch continues to be confirmation to me in my journey. God is amazing, isn't He! He will not be contained by our perceptions of Him or our little plans and agendas. He is God. He has/is the only plan!
I love your stories, they are really helping me to explore and believe again what I used to know as so true, but because of the lies of the devil, I have ignored or thrown away.
I have been told that I cannot fellowship if I share certain views of mine and my writings that God has placed in my heart. It's not a grievous problem as I follow Jesus and not the praise of men, but I wanted to know what God would have me do and not let my pride be an issue. I have been told I cause "dissension" because I speak of "love being the fulfillment of the law" and not the rules. I've done the unpardonable sin of saying the tithe is the law and we're under the grace of giving. I am so excited about how God is moving and I'm honored to be used by Him.
My adult daughter and her 6 children in another state recently became homeless. When she went to three different Christian churches, they turned her away (not a member) so she ended up being helped by a cult. (Matthew 25:35-36 -- stranger vs. member.)
I knew God was showing others what He was showing me. Your cartoons were an answer to prayer.
I am humbled by your willingness to share yourself so freely. I saw myself, and never have I been at once so convicted, yet entertained, yet brought to a point of careful consideration concerning what in my life is tradition vs. doctrine. I thank you, and I thank the Lord for bringing me here. Your work matters, and touches hearts as well as lives.
I too have been struggling with that "secret sin" of internet porn, probably for 2 or 3 years. It would be a problem for a while and then I seemed to master that sin and have victory for a while. But it kept creeping back into my life, especially when I was in a down mood.
A few weeks ago I brought it before the Lord and told Him that I didn't want this filth to come between Him and me anymore. It keeps me from having the wonderful relationship that He has been developing. And I told Him that I didn't want to continue to hurt (my wife) with it either, even though she was not aware of my problem.
Last week she and I were talking about priorities. She told me that she thought I spent too much time on the computer and internet at home. The Lord convicted me big time at that moment, and I saw that I was still living a lie of this "secret sin." I opened up to her and confessed and told her how sorry I was to have hurt her like this. What amazed me was her love and understanding. She said it must be so easy to get involved with it on the internet. What a wonderful wife I have that I don't deserve!! What an awesome God that continues to love me with a love that I don't deserve!!!!!
Jesus is so amazing. I love Him so much and yet I see how little I love Him compared to how much He loves me.
The last church I was in is like in the cartoon "Brother Fairasee and the Battle Plan." All of a sudden I noted that I was turning away from brothers in other churches just because they did not have "the correct truths."
After much thinking about it, my husband took the decision of leaving this church and to start seeing it from the outside. Now that I am outside I have realized that we were under a yoke ever so much harder to carry.
I thank God that there are new forms through which we can learn about His works and I also give thanks because I realize that only when we expose ourselves to the light of the Word are we changed. (from Mexico, translated from Spanish)
Over the past two episodes I learned something about communion that I didn't know. It confirmed what my husband and I had in our hearts. We aren't legalists, but we do believe that things set forth clearly in scripture should be adhered to.
Keep up the good work! It takes much courage to do what you're doing. Believe me, I know!
I don't know what to think about all of the points on religion that you bring up. But I don't think that is the point. I think that just thinking about them and becoming more interested in having a personal relationship with God and his Son is the point. I am just starting to have my own faith -- away from my parents. This is a time when I have felt a little lost and confused. I am finding many questions and thoughts arising. Your comic helped me bring into sight exactly what those are and encourages me to study these things -- not to just go by what I have been taught in the church setting.
I thank God for you and your project. And I look forward to seeing Sketch grow closer to God. I can apply many thoughts of my own to his. Thank you for sharing your gift.
I don't know exactly why I'm writing you. I guess, to thank you for being willing to be different. For risking the disapproval of men in order to please God. I've been doing a lot of that myself lately, or I've been trying to, at least.
I love the way Theophilus has such a simple, unaffected love for Jesus. Please don't think I'm trying to sound prideful, or like I've got it all together (trust me, I don't), but sometimes I almost feel alone, because it seems like nobody else has that kind of relationship with God. I'm not saying no one else does, but sometimes I feel that way.
This past year, I've been really trying to read the Bible for what it says, and not read it through the eyes of my already established beliefs. It's been scary. I'm getting weirder and weirder compared to everyone else that serves God. I mean, I'm really taking things too far here, in other people's eyes. But the Word of God is the Word of God, you know? And you've got to do what pleases Him.
I appreciate you, Mr. West. God bless your ministry!
I have been walking around with this black cloud over my head and not feeling like my relationship with God was right. I had no joy going to "the One True Church" even though I am a minister's daughter and raised in it.
After reading your strip and everything, I have come to the conclusion that I was waiting around for the "One True Church" to fulfill me. I was looking in the wrong direction! I went to service last Sunday and for the first time in a long time I REALLY WORSHIPPED GOD!!!
Thank you for this site and all your insights. I have found joy in Jesus Christ and have stopped relying on human doctrine to fulfill me. God Bless you in your efforts and for your courage.
I am a Christian woman, who is saved, sanctified and filled with the precious gift of the Holy Ghost. I am also one who loves to surf the net. While searching one day, I came across a link to Christian comics. Since I think I have a pretty good sense of humor, I decided to take a look. Boy, did I like what I saw! Theophilus' message is so strong, and so on point. I truly thank God that you did not give up on Theophilus and the world.
You have a very special anointing. May God continue to bless and keep you.
I read your testimony, "My Life With Theophilus," and found myself rooting for you!! While I completely understand your need to clear the air; to give and ask forgiveness of your detractors, I am one hundred percent behind your articles defending your positions.
Thank you so much for bringing Theophilus back, since I just found him. I now look forward to reading it everyday. May God bless you!!
The parallels between Sketch and what has been happening to me the last several weeks has been startling. It may be the Lord is using your talents to send me a message. I wish I didn't have to wait for each week to roll around to get another installment.
The Lord began my journey of discovery of what the Bible really says and teaches about 20 years ago. The more I learned the more I inwardly, and finally outwardly, rebelled against the doctrines of man, and the greater my problems became with the Pharisees in my local area. It took a long time but with God's help I too finally let go of the hurt, anger and bitterness regarding how I'd been unjustly accused and treated. Isn't freedom wonderful.
I just want to thank the Lord for your faithfulness to Him and thank you for the candor I found on your personal history of Theophilus. I'd never wish that kind of life of attack and rejection on my worst enemy, but I know it has grown me up spiritually, by forcing me to not only know what I believe but why I believe it. I never minister the Word without reminding those listening to search the Word for themselves and not just buy everything they hear from a pulpit, mine or anyone else's, as if God Himself is speaking.
Sermons give you baby food. To get the meat of the Word of God one must search it out for oneself. I don't believe that the Lord ever intended us to be babies, ever led by our noses by others without ever searching the Word for ourselves. We need more than doctrines...we need the life and the love and the clear view of the Lord found only as we search the scriptures for ourselves.
When I first found your site last year I read all your cartoons and bought your book so I could share them with friends and family. I also signed up for notification of new cartoons and read them weekly.
Then a few months ago you began to emphasize gifts of the Spirit (specifically tongues and healing). While I admitted they were still in operation, I did not believe they were widespread and believed that they were primarily for non-believers. Because of this I stopped looking at the site on a regular basis.
Over the past few weeks the Spirit has been working mightily in me and has shown that indeed the opposite may be true. It is for believers that God desires to make His power known.
This morning I was moved to visit your site again and I was simply blown away by the many direct parallels to my life which were revealed in the strips, especially starting with "Death in the Family."
As I was reading "Handwriting on the Wall" I started thinking why doesn't God do something like that for me, and then He clearly answered, "What do you think I'm doing right this minute?"
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
The Spirit is truly working in these days.
I have repented of this before God and Jesus. Now I'm praying for strength to go on to the next and better step.
Bless you and keep on stepping on my toes.
Thank you! There are a lot of thought provoking concepts in your cartoons. I seek to live in spirit and truth, and your cartoons have helped me renew that desire in my life -- to live by the Word of God and His Holy Spirit.
I too long for a more personal relationship with the Lord. Though I feel guilty for having spent so much work time, I feel as though it was purposeful. I want to follow God's will for me and yet I tend to ignore those inner tugs. One of those tugs was to overcome my pride, admit I can relate to your struggles and acknowledge it.
I have to thank you for sharing your story as you do. I'm a slow typist on limited time so I am unable to convey all the feelings that are stirred up in me right now. This letter is a big step for me and I pray for the strength to send it instead of erasing it as I have once already.
Please pray that I will grow in the Lord and he will remove my fears and I will pray that your ministry continues to reach those of us in need.
I understand firsthand what it is like to be attacked by people as a heretic and a false teacher for speaking the message of freedom in Anointed Jesus, although you have certainly endured it for longer than I have thus far. Bob, you, Theophilus, and even Brother Fairasee are inspirational. You don't receive the accolades given out to Max Lucado or C.S. Lewis, but the ideas that crystallize in your strips are at least equal to anything that they have written, in my estimation anyway.
When I read these comic strips I see a brutal truth about how far the church has come from her original plan and the sadness that God must have when he hears us arguing over doctrine instead of feeding the homeless or reading His word for our improvement and not for proof of...
Many times have I struggled with being offended by legalism, as well as I am sure, I have handed some out myself. It is refreshing to see Theophilus more concerned with his relationship with Jesus than what others think of him or the name on his church door.
All wisdom has its place but I have always thought that if it doesn't move you to change then you haven't learned anything. (Now I am convicting myself.)
I just wanted to say thank you and give you positive feedback for standing for true Christianity and not religion. The body of Christ has been bound by a spirit of religion too long.