This is the second of three “Letters” I am posting this week so that I/we can catch up with Pastor De Bruyn. Next week, I will begin posting my own material again, as we prepare for the next session in our teaching series (2/24).

The title is not mine but comes from a series of articles I discovered late last year. While reading through the “Letters to Stagnant Christians,” I found them both convicting and insightful. The author, David De Bruyn, is a Reformed Baptist pastor in South Africa. Though the context in which he ministers might seem a world away, his “letters” prove that the same spiritual struggles stymie Christian growth and maturity across ethnic, national, and cultural boundaries.

I will repost these letters as long as he continues writing them. Here is a sample of the tenth, followed by a link to the original article:

Dear Richard,

It’s difficult for me to explain certain problems with spiritual stagnation without discouraging the person I’m writing to. Some problems don’t seem like problems to a person; they seem like virtues, and to point them out is to often risk deflating a believer’s zeal. I trust you’ll resist that tendency as I try to point out what is holding you back.

Richard, your Christian life began in a very mixed-up, wonky church, by your own admission. All sorts of charismatic hoopla and spiritual acrobatics were standard Sunday fare. But, by the grace of God, you did hear the gospel message of God’s saving grace in Christ, and you believed. There was a diamond of truth amidst the abundant mire of false teaching.

You told me that it was a friend who rescued you from that church and invited you to his home group Bible study. A new world opened up for you, as you experienced serious interest in Scripture, a militance against false teaching, and an unflagging allegiance to pure biblical teachings. It felt like a second conversion for you, a seminal moment of awakening to Christianity rooted in nothing but Scripture.

It seems, however, that the home study had certain doctrines and foci that it revolved around. Studies of Daniel, Revelation, the minutia of pretribulationism versus mid-trib or post-trib rapture positions, studies of Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roman Catholicism, the Word-Faith cult, the Illuminati and one-world government. I could guess at the other topics taught there, and probably be 100% correct without having attended it, not because of a prophetic or psychic gift, but because such fiercely independent groups are, ironically, predictably similar in their interests.

“Letters to Stagnant Christians #10: Stratospheric Studies”

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