Your articles about Kristen Beverage-Doss and Amanda Lester in The Pocahontas Times of August 22 made me very happy to see that these two talented young Pocahontas County women have decided to devote their energies and talents to helping build a more vibrant West Virginia.
Young people like these are our best hope for the future of the Mountain State.
This letter is in response to the letter in the August 15, 2019 edition of The Pocahontas Times. I am not writing to attack the author’s beliefs, neither am I attempting to change her mind, nor the minds of those who believe as she does. In fact, I will not address the immigration aspect of the letter, but propose that our perceptions of what GOD is accomplishing can be, oh, so different. I write this letter in an attempt to provide awareness of an alternative in our thinking about the motives of others.
Fellow Christians, and all those who have a desire to believe, here is an example given us by the Apostle Paul in the Book of Philippians, chapter 1, verse 18: “What then? Notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, CHRIST is preached, and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.”
First of all, I would encourage everyone to always read the verses around any given verse to understand the context of the verse before applying it to any situation. In fact, in this case, the entire book of Philippians, as well as Acts, will assist in our understanding of Paul’s ministry. And, it goes without saying, Paul’s entire story would be of great benefit to understanding where Paul is coming from in making this statement in his letter to the church.
More importantly, I would like to point out that GOD can, and will, take a seemingly self-serving motive and use it to advance the gospel of CHRIST. (Philippians 1:12)
To be sure, Paul’s joy of the gospel reaching others was greater than his distaste for the improper motives driving those to preach the gospel.
I am neither standing in judgment of nor condoning the motives of President Trump, as only GOD knows his heart. However, we should all be aware that those who seek election may not always believe what they speak, nor speak what they believe.
So regardless of the motives behind such things as the United States of America unashamedly supporting Israel or a belief that saying Merry Christmas isn’t intended to be offensive nor should it be taken that way, the fact remains that there is clearly a perception by some that Christian values are placed in higher regard these days. And, a person’s perception is generally that person’s reality. Therefore, we Christians should take advantage of this perceived reality, embrace it, and use it to assist us in unashamedly spreading the gospel.
The alternative in thinking I mentioned above is twofold: 1) We can take comfort that GOD can, and will, take even a self-serving motive and use it to advance the gospel of CHRIST, and 2) we should appreciate it when the gospel is a focus by leaders of our Country, more than we downplay the motives of those who may use it for personal or party gain.
J L Clifton