June 18, 2007
The Master's Program
The Point of View - A Weekly Commentary by Bob Shank

Dear Marketplace Friend,

    Happy Father's Day. If you're a dad, I say as your colleague, "Go get 'em, bucko.” If you're not a dad, I say as an orphan (technically true: my father died about eight years ago), "Tell him you appreciate him." If you're a dad, get yourself a Father's Day gift that will make next year's celebration even better. My suggestion? Pick up a copy of The Difference a Father Makes by my friend - and Master's graduate - Ed McGlasson and incorporate some of his strategies into your fathering (order on-line at www.thedifferenceafathermakes.org ).
    Okay, we've handled the holiday. Back to business. The subject at hand: what it means to hold a Christian/Biblical Worldview. Implicit in the point is that to be Christian demands that you be Biblical. There are "churches" today that have split that hair, and defend the separation. They "respect" the Bible (they say), but are not bound by it. Their worldview has "evolved" with the culture, and left the constraints set forth in the Scriptures. They may still be "church" in the eyes of the IRS, but - on God's roster - they have placed themselves on thin ice, or have gone over-the-line of hypocrisy.
    Absolute moral truth exists; and, The Bible is absolutely true; and, God is the Creator of the universe; and, God is all-knowing and all-powerful; and, God is still sovereign over all; and, Jesus is the Son of God; and, Satan is a real entity; and, Jesus lived a sinless life; and, Salvation is a free gift from God; and, Christians are to share their faith. Ten Absolutes. Ten Non-Negotiables. As we'd say it in the Marketplace, those are "dealpoints." All or nothing. Win or lose. "This is the ground I'll die defending," to put it in William Wallace terms.
    Are you among the "Silent Majority?" Originally termed to suggest that there were a bunch of conservative voters out there in America who shouldn't be taken for granted at the polls, I think that our generation has absconded with that lobbyist lingo to find a safe harbor for cowering Christians. Has God made provisions for a "silent majority" profile, for the people whom He made to lead the team? Can you be an influential Christian, in/for the Kingdom, and assume the posture of silence regarding the key tenets of faith?
    I have limited space, so let me cut to the chase: if you want to be a leader, you can't be silent. Most "I accepted Jesus as my Personal Savior" Christians don't even know what the basic beliefs are... and, they are completely unprepared to defend them, if called upon. Peter - the winner of the Mr. Outspoken Award around the Last Supper Table - said this: "...always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander " (I Peter 3:15-16).  Peter wasn't a Boy Scout, but he shared their motto: Be Prepared.  Are you?
   The point of the last 10 weeks was to expose the core issues of a Christian/Biblical Worldview... and to ask you to examine where your foundations are strong, and where they are in need of work. Come on, get honest with yourself: are you ready to state your positions - the 10 Points laid out herein - and to defend them, against the opposition? Can you influence the passive, and strengthen the silent, with your claims? If not, what do you do?
    Check out a great web resource: www.jesusfactorfiction.com. It is the result of Master's grad Chris Duncan - a business entrepreneur who saw a Kingdom need, conceived a vision and strategy, and funded an initiative that continues to impact today. Eighteen of the Kingdom's best sources come together to address the key questions in the modern discussion around the intellectual credibility of the Christian faith. On the website, you'll find great resources including the CD, Jesus: Fact or Fiction which is available for purchase.
    Or... you can hit "reply" and ask me for it. On the website, it's $12.95. From me, there is no charge. You need to e-mail me your name/address info... and I'll send you ONE (not enough for your whole church!). Why? I want you to be prepared to give an answer. Leaders don't have a choice: they must lead, in thought, word and deed! The alternative? Find your place among the led... and don't kid yourself about being a leader... 
     Hoping to help you along,

     Bob Shank

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