When I was in university, Christianity and cults were given equal intellectual status – equally low, that is. I distinctly remember watching a video in Anthropology class that showed rural holy rollers falling into a trance to repetitive music while dancing around live rattlesnakes. The desired effect it had on me was deeply impressed. At the time, it changed the way I looked at religion.
I subsequently learned about cargo cults in another Anthropology class, where I was shown footage of Melanesian natives dancing and feasting around a US warplane that was their “god incarnate”, which brought them canned food, “a gift from heaven”. Sure, I understood that they were logically applying what they saw to what they believed, but nevertheless the display was pitiable.
Fast forward to the day I met Peter Coleman, the “Christian cop”. As an Anthropologist (an unsaved one at that), I applied to Christians the pejorative Anthropological terms that I had learned in university. But Peter Coleman was far from pitiable or unenlightened. He was a confident, self-disciplined, intelligent, and chivalrous man of God. He walked with integrity. He could not be fooled or lied to. He could not be sold. He clearly perceived people’s motives and was an accurate judge of character. While being pleasant and friendly, he still portrayed powerful presence and strength. He stood tall. I wondered: how can this guy be a Christian?
I soon found out. Peter Coleman is a Christian because He perceived that neither secular philosophy nor naturalist science could explain the supernatural element of human creation. He learned that various religions copied a moral pattern of Christianity but were works-based, devoid of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. He intuited that institutionalized religion was bereft of the Holy Spirit but rife with satanic devices that stole the truth from people’s hearts and kept them blind. In a word, he was noble because he “received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11).
Today, apologist Ravi Zacharias, teacher John MacArthur, creationist Ken Ham, and evangelist Ray Comfort, along with innumerable ministers and theologians like them labour in the Word and in doctrine daily in an effort to help you understand the Bible so that you can do what it says. Peter Coleman is my Ravi, my MacArthur, my Ken Ham, my Ray Comfort and then some. For me, he personified Christ-like strength of character, moral fortitude, and honest intellectualism. He adorns the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things by virtue of his uncompromising faith in the Word of God. So can you.
You have every reason to stand as tall as the tallest among us. You are a holy princess whose home is waiting for her in the kingdom of heaven, whose Father is the Lord God Almighty, whose sins have been washed clean away by the blood of Jesus, whose record of wrongs has been nailed to the cross. You are more valuable than a million birds, a million dollars, and a million gemstones. When you became a child of God, all the angels in heaven rejoiced because of you. They magnified the Lord, because He died for you while you were yet a sinner. Now when God your Father looks on you, He doesn’t see your faults. He sees your perfection because you wear the washed and whitened garment of His Son. When your sins seem insurmountable and threaten to overwhelm you with grief and despair, and the accuser points his gnarly finger in your direction, and you utter with shame the guilty plea for all to hear, your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ stands up on your behalf proclaiming you to be free from sin because He has already served your death sentence for you. The moment you fell on your knees begging God the Father to forgive you of your sinful rebellion through the atoning selfless sacrifice of God the Son, you stood again ever forgiven.
Tomorrow morning when you wake up, look in the mirror and see yourself for who you are: a child of the living God. When you walk away from that mirror, remember who you are. Remember that before you ever were, God loved you. Now remember who you serve and serve Him with all your heart, soul, and mind. Be encouraged to live in the peace that comes through obedience to His will.
Thanks for reading.
To be further encouraged by who you are in Christ, read Delivering Women from the Snares of Death, Chapter Seven.