Echoes from the Campfire

A man’s life was full of trouble and full of question–and so it was like relief to stand up to certainty, to know that he was in front of reality.”
–Ernest Haycox (Man in the Saddle)

“It is safer to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than to confront a fool caught in foolishness.”
–Proverbs 17:12 (NLT)
I have been convinced for many years that most Christians rarely examine the implications of their beliefs. They could not tell you the great doctrines of the faith. When I was principal of a Christian high school, one of the things I would ask during an interview of possible teachers or students was how do they know they are a Christian, “born-again.” Even with most of the teachers there was much stumbling, and “ah, um.” What was it that Mark Noll said when asked about the evangelical mind? “What evangelical mind?”
Hebrews 6:1, is a verse that all Christians of any length of time should adhere to and practice.

“Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity.”

The last two churches I attended where I taught the adult Sunday School I started my course with a simple, yet needful, study of God. How can we go any further in the faith if we do not know about the One in Whom we are to have faith?
What we know about God is vital to our Christian life. Our knowledge of God greatly determines how we act. If we are to have Christ-like character then we must know about God’s character. Man will find himself confused and in a dilemma without the knowledge of God. He cannot answer the essential questions of life.
Perhaps the doctrine of God most disregarded is His sovereignty. Man does not like to think of the sovereignty of God because that puts God in charge. Man wants to be autonomous, make his own decisions and way in life, not to be “ordered around” by the Creator of mankind. Yet, this great doctrinal truth is vital to the Christian walk. It gives the believer faith and hope and assurance and without it we have a God of whims and notions.
If you have read the Daily Paine much over the years you noticed that I go to the thought of “destiny” from time-to-time. Are you destined for this or that? I have heard many people quote from Jeremiah and say they have a great destiny from God. If you would follow their life from birth to death I wonder what we would see. Would there be greatness, or just the regular life that most of us live?
One of our problems is that we do not understand the meaning of “destiny.” The believer, when he comes to know Christ, is now destined for eternity in heaven. That is destiny! There is that wonderful Scripture, the steps of the righteous are ordered by God (Psalm 37:23), that is destiny.
However, I do believe that there are men who are set apart for a special work. If not Moses, then whom? If not Paul, then whom? Was George Washington destined to be the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army and first President of the United States? If not, whom? Now, this does not take away from free will. Moses could have stayed in Egypt. Paul could have cursed God on the Damascus road. Washington could have refused his position. They were not forced into it, but ah, there is that thing called “destiny.”
Do some pondering!