Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Fearful (08/23/07)
TITLE: The Controversy in Copperstown
By TJ Nickel
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News from our Fifth District, in the city of Copperstown.
After spending the afternoon with Pastor Terry James, I am writing to inform you that our great fear upon including him under the umbrella of our Association has been realized. Pastor James was a terrific student in Seminary with a grand imagination. Concerns were raised about where his imagination may lead him. Today, I must regretfully inform you that it has led his soul to the gates of hell. Never before have I been so reminded of the ills of imagination and its heightened potency in conjunction with the modern culture. I hereby recommend his dismissal from leading our church on the following grounds.
First, Pastor James continues his belief that all humanity may one day be redeemed. While admitting that Scripture does not say all will be redeemed, he is adamant that it also does not say all will not be saved. His constant use of philosophy in defense of his views only underlines a concern of the priority of Scripture in both his thought processes and methods of interpretation. In addition, his appeals to emotions and desires in this matter leave him unarmed to handle the Truth as is so plainly revealed to us in our Confession. This stance leaves him no room within acceptable doctrines and interpretations of the book of Revelation.
Secondly, Pastor James’ stances on Revelation directly impact his views on Genesis. Instead of using his position to combat the culture, he has continually tried to incorporate secular thought into his beliefs. After quickly concluding of his errors concerning Revelation, I painstakingly questioned him on Genesis. After hours of highly intellectual (while devoid of value) dialogue, I was able to trap him in our game of chess. Finally, he came out with it. Pastor James believes that it is “quite possible” (his words, as he surely believes it to be absolutely the case) that Adam, the originator of sin and the cause of the fall of mankind, was actually Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. He continues these games of hypothetical posturing in seriously pondering whether John the Baptist was Elijah and whether the beloved Apostle John was Lazarus. While he has not publicly mentioned these beliefs from the pulpit, one can only expect it on the horizon after his recent sermons questioning the eternity of hell. I can only imagine whether his library contains the books of Dan Brown or the books countering Dan Brown. Quite possibly, he has them all, and uses them as he does the Great Book – as means to creating fantastical speeches to his congregation.
These fantastical speeches have indeed been a cornerstone of our church in Copperstown, and they certainly attributed to the great increase in attendance and giving in the recent decade. However, the current controversies have caused some to leave, and funding is down compared to last year’s trends. His removal as pastor will certainly cause another drop in earnings as those loyal to Pastor James may indeed follow him. We can only pray for their souls collectively. In the end of course, this is not a financial concern, but one of Truth in the face of any fires such that money and all its evils may bring upon us for standing by God’s Word.
Be not fearful of our presence in Copperstown, or the Fifth District. I will personally see to it that the normal operating procedures are suspended so that I can personally interview and present an eloquent and appropriate replacement for Pastor James.
Senior Pastor Fearful, Ph.D.
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