I've been writing articles for newspapers for thirty years. I think it is time to retire from writing weekly columns and instead focus on building a training academy.
I want to thank my readers, those who liked what I had to say, and those who disagreed with me. My attitude as a writer is "love me or hate me but don't ignore me." I think until we're provoked, we don't examine our beliefs. Too many people live an unexamined life, never considering if what they hear is true or false. It's sad to arrive at the end of your journey only to realize that your basis for living was a falsehood.
I've lived as a Christian who believes in God. More than believing...I know Him! It is not a creed but a relationship. I began to follow Jesus as a child. He impressed me when, in answer to prayer, the Lord Jesus appeared to my mother while she was in a hospital very ill with tuberculosis. God instantly healed her. How can you not love a Savior who does that? So, yes, I take the Bible seriously. I have studied it and taught from it all my life. The Scriptures are truly life changing.
Years ago I adopted three nonnegotiable beliefs: Jesus is the Son of God, the Bible is the word of God, and everyone needs to be saved. Other than that, there is room for various preferences and persuasions. There are many diverse denominations. They can't all be right. I think the Lord left some things beyond our understanding, so some mystery remains. Someone humorously said, "When we get to heaven the labels will fall off. If we go to hell the labels will burn off." I'm nondenominational. I say, even if a dog comes along barking for Jesus, he's my friend.
A few years ago I wrote about people leaving church behind. Some believers left organized religion - not because they were backsliding, but because their faith was authentic. They would no longer compromise. What they see in their Bible is missing in their local church. They feel like spectators rather than real disciples. They are tired of the edifice complex with endless meetings and empty relationships. Sadly, there's another trend, the continuing downward slide of church involvement by a growing segment of America's young people. Amoral secularism, godless media, and atheist education are winning the culture war. Why? Parents quit praying with their kids. Schools expelled Bible reading. Churches went theoretical instead of experiential. Seminaries disparaged gifts of the Holy Spirit. Faith was driven from the public square so now America deteriorates and disintegrates.
In the light of all this, there are signals of hope. Some faith communities have opted for the authentic and original rather than prepackaged forms of Christianity. In these groups, the Spirit of the Lord is moving. Races are reconciled. Father-empowered families are thriving. Children are respectful. Love abounds. Preachers lead believers to pray, prophesy, serve, and witness.
Meanwhile, our divided nation is in need of healing. I would love to see old-style Democrats like John Kennedy emerge. Will it happen? Not likely. So I pray for America. I'll keep posting renewal articles, writing more books, preaching God's word, teaching the Bible, and training kingdom workers. Meanwhile I urge you all to keep your faith in Jesus. He is alive! My love to all.
Ron Wood is an author and teacher living in NW Arkansas. His books are available on Amazon.com. His posts are on @facebooknwa and touchedbygrace.org. For event announcements, request notifications by sending an email to [email protected] Opinions expressed are those of the author.
NOTE: I am grateful to everyone here for their honest service and fair reporting of the news.