WolfHawke.com is a collection of stories and musings on faith, Christianity, philosophy, and life.

Featured Content

Unity and Division in the Church Part 1 - Unity

In the mid-1980’s, three men were appointed as leaders of a tiny Christian fellowship in a middle-eastern country. They could not have been more different from each other. Hanwoo was a Pentecostal from Korea. He strongly believed in the submission to and movement of and through the Spirit of God; so much so that he refused to prepare for Sunday sermons so as not to quench the Spirit. Julian was from England and had a charismatic background. As such, he held to the use of tongues, the importance of experiencing God and the exercise of all the spiritual gifts. He did not however hold to some of Hanwoo’s more extreme positions like instant healing or direction of the Spirit in all things. Then there was Steve, a fundamentalist from New England in the United States of America. While he had a vibrant walk with Christ, he could be designated as one of the “frozen chosen.” He tended towards cessationism and did not like emotional engagement in his worship. For him, Scripture was first and experience came as a distant second or third. He tended towards a more reformed and cerebral view of the Christian life. In addition to this, Hanwoo spoke no English, so all of the church business had to be transacted in the local language, making things even more difficult for both Julian and Steve for whom English was the primary language. And yet, and yet these three very different men labored together for the foundation of one of the most effective fellowships in that country. Beyond that, they became friends who love and respect each other deeply. They evidenced a biblical unity that I have not encountered anywhere else so far. What was their secret? Let’s consider that together.

Continue reading >

Pondering the Master

The other night I couldn’t sleep: it was probably that chocolate cake I ate after dinner. My usual method for trying to get myself to sleep is to read something light and fluffy, so I picked up Davis Bunn’s book Elixir (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2004). It was quite entertaining until one of the characters made the following statement: “God’s path is called the narrow way. Not because it is more difficult, but because it is restricted.”1 That got me to thinking, is this really the case? After much pondering, I believe it is. Paul points out to the Corinthians, “‘Everything is permissible for me,’ but not everything is helpful. ‘Everything is permissible for me,’ but I will not be brought under the control of anything” (1Co. 6:12 – HCSB; see also 1Co. 10:23). He also exclaims, “If food causes my brother to fall, I will never again eat meat, so that I won’t cause my brother to fall” (1Co. 8:13 – HCSB).

So often we try to push against the restrictions laid upon us by God, whether it comes to the roles He assigns to men and women, or whether it comes to how to interpret Scripture or how to live our lives. The life of the Christian is restricted; it is restricted by the Word of God, our love for God, His expectations of us and our love for other humans. It is in our best interest that God restricts us.2 Peter admonishes us to add goodness (virtue, integrity or moral excellence) to our faith (see 2Pe. 1:5-7). “Goodness” should be defined as agreeing to do what God says to do and to not to do what He says not to do; it is an act of the will. That is a tall order, because I don’t always agree with God; but doing as He says even in the little things brings freedom to my life. For freedom is not the ability to do as I please, rather it is the ability to do what is right at all times.

As a part of this we need to make sure that our opinions and biases are in line with the restrictive view of God’s Word, rather than letting the world inform where our worth, value, tasks and roles arise from. Let us commit to living in the restrictions of Christ that lead to true freedom rather than in the false freedom the world offers that leads to bondage.

  • 1. Davis Bunn, Elixir (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2004), Kindle Edition, p. 163, emphasis in original text.
  • 2. Note that God even restricts Himself! See: J.M. Diener, “Limits”, Pondering the Master , March 2011 < https://www.wolfhawke.com/ptm/limits > (accessed 2018-01-25).

From Wolfhawke’s Reading List

John Ashton and David Down

Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2007.

Search WolfHawke.com

Search form