If you have missed any of the previous anonymized interviews, please check here. “Meet the Christians” series of interviews features anonymous guests so that there is no celebrity. The interviews are evangelistic and have been simplified so that they are easy to follow and to the point. Today my guest too will be masked as we ask him different questions about what he believes. Today’s interview too is an interesting one in that my guest at A Twisted Crown of Thorns (ATCT) was once a preacher and follower of prosperity gospel.
- ATCT: Did you have any Christian influence in your youth or childhood?
CHRISTIAN: I grew up in a Pentecostal family and my Dad was (and is) a preacher so I’ve always grown up around a vaguely Christian influence although it wasn’t until I was 14 that I heard the Gospel personally for what I count as the first time.
2. ATCT: What is the gospel in one sentence?
CHRISTIAN: 1 Peter 2:24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”
3. ATCT: If you woke up this morning and found your self transported back in time, which preacher in the last 500 years would you like to listen to? Why?
CHRISTIAN: I love to hear Dr S. Lewis Johnson in person. Dr Johnson was a former professor at Dallas Theological Seminary and teaching elder at Believers Chapel in Dallas. I came to hear of his teaching by accident (that’s another story for another time) but immediately I did, I couldn’t stop listening. He had a no-frills approach – just open the Bible and teach – which I’ve come to treasure. Would be interesting to hear it in person.
4. ATCT: Would you consider an arranged marriage if it was organised by your parents?
CHRISTIAN: Yes!!! Knowing my parents they would get me someone exactly like them…
5. ATCT: How easy (do you think) is parenting?
CHRISTIAN: Looks like the hardest job in the world. Thankfully God gives parents principles to follow in the Word and His Spirit to lead and to guide.
6. ATCT: Your teenage daughter comes weeping to you and tells you she is pregnant. She doesn’t know who the dad is. (Yup, it’s that bad). She feels she has let you down and feels disillusioned about her walk with God. She got a phone number from a friend who can arrange to “sort out” this inconvenient unplanned pregnancy. It’s all a big shock to you. What do you do?
A) Pretend you didn’t hear her and continue reading your news paper.
[B)] Tell her to dial the number REAL QUICK!
C) Let her know in no uncertain terms she has brought shame to you and your testimony. And she has therefore left you with no option but to disown her.
CHRISTIAN: D – I’d let her know that while she has indeed fallen into sin (before there was a baby, something had to happen – will leave that there…), the Lord will indeed accept her if she is repentant. Further, I’d reassure her that while I may be disappointed, she is still my daughter and her mother and I will always love and support her. Finally, we are not adding murder to the list of sins and so the baby remains untouched – but not without our love and support and hopefully that of our church family.
7. ATCT: What major theological shifts have happened in your life as a Christian?
CHRISTIAN: The major one would be becoming Reformed in my theology which happened when I was 17. I was a prosperity-gospel adherent and a happy one at that – but as I began to check out the stuff I was being told, it just didn’t fit. Eventually I was introduced to reformed theology and the rest as they say was history.
8. ATCT: We are sending you to a desert island. You can only take one book aside from the Bible. Which book would you take and why?
CHRISTIAN: Tough one – I’d probably take A Body of Divinity by the Puritan minister Thomas Watson. Watson has a knack for taking deep theology and making immediately applicable. Got a few contenders but that would most likely end up being the one I take with me.
9. What attribute of God do you struggle to understand?
CHRISTIAN: If I am honest, I struggle with the fatherhood of God at times. I don’t naturally equate a father with someone I’m intimate with, due to my own family experience and at times I find myself viewing my relationship with God in that light. Thankfully, when I see that creeping up again, I remind myself of the Scriptures which speak of God as a loving father, and not just a stern disciplinarian or authority figure.
10. ATCT: What are the words of your favourite Hymn?
CHRISTIAN: The God of Abraham Praise by Thomas Olivers:
The God of Abraham praise,
who reigns enthroned above;
Ancient of everlasting days,
and God of love;
Jehovah, great I AM,
by earth and heaven confessed:
I bow and bless the sacred Name
for ever blessed.
The God of Abraham praise,
at whose supreme command
from earth we rise, and seek the joys
at his right hand;
we all on earth forsake,
its wisdom, fame and power;
and him our only portion make,
our Shield and Tower.
The goodly land we see,
with peace and plenty blessed:
a land of sacred liberty
and endless rest;
there milk and honey flow,
and oil and wine abound,
and trees of life for ever grow,
with mercy crowned.
There dwells the Lord, our King,
the Lord, our Righteousness,
triumphant o’er the world and sin,
the Prince of Peace;
on Zion’s sacred height
his kingdom he maintains,
and, glorious with his saints in light,
for ever reigns.
The God who reigns on high,
the great archangels sing,
and “Holy, holy, holy,” cry,
Who was and is the same,
and evermore shall be:
Jehovah, Father, great I AM,
we worship thee.”
The whole triumphant host
give thanks to God on high;
“Hail, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost”
they ever cry;
hail, Abraham’s God and mine;
I join the heavenly lays;
all might and majesty are thine,
and endless praise!
Glory be to the God of Abraham!