Posts tagged ‘True’

August 2, 2012

The Internet Friend

by pastortimfowler

Internet Sign

As a pastor, I have studied the Bible for almost 20 years now. I have my Masters and worked toward my Doctorate until I got tired of going to school. I have challenged traditional teaching and made it a point to never take someone’s word about the meaning of any one liner quoted by anyone trying to prove a point. I have gotten used to people questioning me and my faith and I understand where they are coming from most of the time because I used to do the same. But I was not satisfied with the fact that logic kept screaming at me that things that have design don’t happen by chance, they happen because of a designer. I never once came across something that I, in seeing it for the first time, like a liquor bottle-shaped like the state of South Carolina, immediately thought that it was a mistake or chance of nature rather than something designed by a designer and then intelligently made it. Call me stupid if you want, but I just never thought like that.
I have on rare occasions gone to the doctor and wanted him to help me figure out what was wrong with my body. Not that there is anything wrong with it as it is, just sometimes I do get sick. When the doctor comes back with the diagnosis, I don’t argue with him and tell him he doesn’t know what he is talking about. I trust him as an educated guy who has studied the human body and how to help it heal. Sure, there are some corrupt doctors who use this knowledge for profit, but overall, their intentions are good and honorable. Somehow, as a pastor and someone who has spent years studying the Bible, I and others like me, are made out to be wackos and manipulators. A wacko I may be, but not a manipulator. I am not profiting from telling someone what the Bible says. I am, like the doctor who trys to help someone who self diagnosis’ himself , only trying to give accurate facts to help that person better understand the Bible.
Yes we all make mistakes. Yes we all have our own beliefs. But there is this thing called absolute truth and there can only be one truth. If you don’t think so, then please answer this one question. Are you absolutely sure that there is no absolute truth? God says that He is truth and that His word is truth. He also tells us that we are not God. I am going to lean toward the God’s side of that argument.
Lately I have had several discussions with people about how they disagree with me and the Bible. When I ask where they get their interpretation of the Bible, they often quote a verse or two and tell me that they read an article on the internet. That is like me saying that I read part of an anatomy book and saw an article online and that is why the doctor is wrong.
We all have friends who know everything. I have a friend who is an expert mechanic. He knows everything about cars. He went to school to be an accountant and works in a firm as an accountant, but he can tell me everything that is wrong with any car. Those stupid mechanics at the dealership often disagree with him. Go figure. Another friend is an expert in football. He can tell you why every team loses their game and what should have been done differently. He knows this because he played little league football when he was 8 years old and has the NFL channel. He did not go to college and rarely even goes to NFL games or college games, and he works as a salesman. My friend who coaches the local high school football team never asks the salesman for advice. Hmmm.
So as you know, our friend, the internet, knows everything too. Like television, if it is on the internet it has to be true.
I don’t suggest making a life or death decision about your health based on what you read on the web. I don’t suggest replacing the whole engine in your car based on the chat room conversation with the guy who is a master mechanic. I don’t suggest making your decision on who God is based on one or two lines quoted by your friend or the internet either.
We can agree to have our differences about what the Bible says about marriage and drinking and gambling and other stuff, but what it says about eternity needs to be considered more seriously. If you mess up in one of those other areas, God still loves you and will forgive you if you ask. If you mess up in whether or not God is who He says He is or if He is real or not, just because you think you or the internet are smarter than Him, that could be a tough one to get around. Don’t let a friend be your doctor if he is an accountant and don’t let the internet friend be your god. Both can cause an irreversible death.

July 10, 2012

True Friends

by pastortimfowler

Today I was asked to give a friend a ride to work. When I picked him up, his dad said, “Make sure you give him some gas money”. I appreciate the gesture, but refused the money. This friend was a young man who just graduated and working his first job. His parents have one car and sometimes they run into a conflict with work schedules and need transportation help. So I thought I would let him know that because I did not need gas money to help him, I was not going to accept any from him. My hope is that he will remember that when someone asks him to help and a similar situation arises.
True friends are valuable and hard to find. I am not talking about the kind of friends that are just people you know and like. I am talking about a friend that is there for you through thick and thin and one that you can trust even in the toughest times. This type of friend is rare and valuable and takes time to develop.
I believe many people have that one person who they think is a true friend but when they are needed, they charge them for gas. It is usually a person that you have known for a while and been through many similar things together, or should I say at the same time gone through something together. School produces a lot of these so-called friends. But they are not willing to sacrifice for you and I believe sacrifice is a vital key to a true friendship.
Social media has been a hindrance to the development of this type of friends. Texting and Facebook and Twitter allow for constant contact at the spur of the moment but often displaces personal time that friends must have to know each other in a deeper way. We tend to be friends in this era with those who like the same trends and follow the same pages and forward the funny videos. But this does not make for a true friend.
Here is what a true friend is all about. It is about investing in someone else’s life to better their well-being. A true friend knows you personally. They know what makes you happy, sad, stressed, or relaxed. They know your hardships and know your dreams for success. They are willing to give without expecting anything in return because they know that you would do the same thing. They will text and facebook and tweet you, but nothing can replace a good sit down, face to face talk. They care about your job, your health, your marriage, your kids, and your relationships with others. They are there whenever you need them and aren’t offended when you need time alone. They don’t leave when you have a bad day, week, or month, because they know that life is tough and true friends are in it for life, not just a good time.
My perfect example of a friend is Jesus. He said that he would stick closer than a brother. He doesn’t disown you if you aren’t what He expects you to be. He allows you to be real and always listens when you need to talk. He said that there was no greater love that one could have than to lay down his life for a friend and then He laid down His life for us as an example of that kind of love. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect, He loves anyway. He is our friend even when we are anything but good. His friendship is not based on what we can do for Him but rather what He can do for us. Jesus is a true friend.