Sunday, December 11, 2016

3rd Generation Calvary Pastors

Being a third or fourth generation Calvary Pastor I found the words of J.B. Phillips to be likened to a prophetic warning. 

J.PHILLIPS: 
"By the time that John took up his pen to write his gospel, his epistles, and the Apocalypse, the first century of the Christian era was about to close. As an old man he looked out on a world much different from the one he had known as a boy. Jerusalem was no more. The Jewish people had been uprooted and scattered to the ends of the earth. The church was spreading over the entire world, too, and had already endured the terrible persecutions of Nero and Domitian. The roots of apostasy were everywhere. Gnosticism threatened to change Christianity into something that was unrecognizable. Peter was gone, James was gone, and the apostle Paul was gone. 
    John wrote for the third generation of Christians. By its third generation, a movement stands in desperate need of revival, or else it will either dissapear altogether or linger on as a ghost of its former self.
 In the first generation "truth" is a conviction. Those who hold a conviction hold it dearly. They do not know the meaning of the word compromise. They are willing to die for what they believe to be true.
In the second generation the conviction becomes a belief. Sons hold the truths they have been taught by their fathers and defend their beliefs in discussion and debate. The keen edge of conviction, however, has been blunted, and adherence to a body of beliefs inherited from the fathers is not so much a passion as a persuasion.
In the third generation, the belief becomes opinion. By then some members of the movement are willing to trade in their opinions for anything that promises to be a fair exchange. They feel it is time for a change, they start talking about renewal, and they look to the world for ideas. John wrote for just such a third generation. He wrote with a sense of urgency. He did not write, as did the synoptics, from the viewpoint of an infant church; he wrote from the standpoint of an infirm church, one that was in dire peril from persecution without and subversion within."   

Although I am a third generation pastor I have a first generation conviction, and I am praying for the Lord to bring revival. ~PJ