One of our daughters-in-law, Jessica, led her two oldest children, Kinsley and Zaven, into sending to me a grandpaw recognition for Father’s Day.
Included with the family picture card was a page from each child titled, “Let Me Tell You About My Grandpaw” which had 23 questions and corresponding lines for responses from the kids.
Kinsley’s responses were really sweet. On the line “My Grandpaw is happy,” she wrote, “when I hug him.” For “My Grandpaw’s favorite food is,” she wrote “pie.” She responded to my Grandpaw’s favorite place to go is “church” and that my Grandpaw’s favorite song is “church songs.” I love my Grandpaw because “he love me.” All of her responses touched my heart.
Zaven’s was a different story. Many of you know Zaven because you have a brash, loud and sassy grandchild like him yourself. For the age question, Zaven stated that his Grandpaw is “50 hundred” years old. To “My Grandpaw’s name is,” he wrote, “White Pawpaw.” His other Grandpaw is “Black Pawpaw” because Allen still has a nice head of black hair and a nice black beard for his age. I, in contrast, have a head of white hair, white chops, and white mustache. Zaven seems to relish making this distinction between his two grandpaws.
But, what really got me was his response to “What my Grandpaw is not very good at,” Zaven wrote, “driving his 4-wheeler!”
Recall that several months ago I was riding Zaven on my four-wheeler when I inadvertently turned us over in the driveway. Zaven brought his mother to the scene, and, pointing to a specific spot on the pavement, told her, “Right there is where Pawpaw made me hit my head!” The boy dissed me while I was still sitting on the pavement trying to recover from the spill.
“Let me tell you about my Grandpaw” provided some cutesy insights about what two of my grandchildren thought about their White Pawpaw. But, the same format also suggests for us a related spiritual consideration. It has to do with what we think about God. So, let respond to a questionnaire titled, “Let me tell you about my God.”
On the line asking “Who is God,” we should be point-specific. The only true and living God is the God of Israel, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. The importance of understanding this identification is distinctive as it is essential. The acknowledgement of this identification about God is a critical Bible-based fact about which the Christian church should aver forthrightly within the context of our religiously confused society.
The problem at hand is that people associated with the contemporary church here in America are prone to acknowledge acceptance of other gods and believe that those gods, also, are God. Here is the fact, Jack: if you are going to claim association with the Christian church, it is your absolute responsibility to represent accurately who God is. Do not compromise it. Do not water it down. Do not be namby-pamby about it.
Furthermore, if you are going to claim association with the Christian church, it is your absolute responsibility to not give the assumed existence of other gods credibility. One thing that we should learn from Israel’s experience (as revealed in the Old Testament) is how they were judged for their syncretistic spiritual practices. They actively pursued re-imaging “God” by giving other gods credibility. Ultimately, God called them into account about it.
The contemporary church does the same. For example, mainline denominations have participated in “Re-Imaging Conferences” in which “Sophia worship” teaches people associated with the church that each person has the god existing in each of us. That amounts to unholy confusion and compromised theology!
Let me tell you about my God and who He is: He is the God of Israel, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only true God. There is no other god. Keep it plain.
Both Kinsley and Zaven said that “my Grandpaw reminds me of a grandpaw.” I wonder what they meant by that? What does a grandpaw look like? I guess that maybe my white hair has something to do with it.
The Rev. Ron Branch is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va.