Some things are simple yet profoundly important. For example, my theology is comprehensive yet it's very simple. I am a Bible-believing, Spirit-filled Christian who loves the whole body of Christ. If a dog comes along barking for Jesus, he's my friend. I am not sectarian. I am trans-denominational. I do have three non-negotiable beliefs: The Bible is the word of God, Jesus is the Son of God, and everybody needs to be saved. Apart from that, we can be friends and yet have personal preferences about minor issues.
As for how we should live, I've boiled life down to three vital things. 1. Keep the covenant. 2. Raise the kids. 3. Honor God. "Keep the covenant" means being a man or woman of your word. Keep your promises, especially the vows of marriage and our covenant with God through His word and the sacrifice of Christ. "Raise the kids" means being a parent to your children. Don't try to be their friend. Someone has to be the adult in the room. Take responsibility to turn them into an adult. Fathers, this is your primary duty. "Honor God" means to worship the One True God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God of the Bible. Honoring other gods is idolatry, an awful sin. The God of the Bible is the only deity who blesses his children. To reverence any other god brings a dark curse on your life.
Other practical points: Don't make babies until you're married. Stay in school until you graduate. Don't quit one job until you have another. I stole these three points when I heard them given many years ago by Gov. Mike Huckabee. Mike is a good preacher. He was a good governor. He has been an excellent commentator and conservative TV talk show host. I count him as a friend.
The three things most prominent in my newspaper writings are fatherhood and family, faith in God, and Constitutional conservative politics. I began my newspaper columns in the late 70's in Florida. I was pastoring a Freewill Baptist church in a community where families were frequently fractured, churches split, racism abounded, women disrespected, and teenage kids were prone to rebel. So I started writing about fatherhood - good fathers, wholesome dads, loving husbands, faithful men... the kind of man that parents hope their daughters would grow up and marry. That first article on renegade men turned into a series. Now, 500 columns later, I'm still writing about effective fathers, biblical faith and good government.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing any good with my columns. I try to be a positive influence. Doing that sometimes requires pointing out negative things. That riles up some people who will try to shoot the messenger rather than debate the issues. I have said before that error when examined grows weaker, while truth examined grows stronger. We should never fear the process of uncovering what is true regardless of the lies such examination extinguishes.
For instance, no column I've written has elicited more angry responses from liberal readers than my article about the freedom of speech. Indeed, it is as though for some reason they oppose hearing another side to their view. What have we to fear? The truth is what liberates us. The light of God's word illuminates us to think clearly about important issues, whether it is women's rights, our Constitutional Republic or the amazing gifts of the Holy Spirit. Therefore I persist in confronting deception and advocating what is right, true and good.
Ron Wood is a pastor and author who lives in NWA. His latest book, "Elijah – An Intercessor for Our Times," is available on Amazon. Email: [email protected] Opinions expressed are those of the author.