Bob Tamasy: Plain Truth And Main Things

Monday, June 11, 2018 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Have you ever followed a literal rabbit trail? I haven’t, but having watched the course a typical rabbit follows, I imagine one would meander in multiple directions, depending on what happens while the rabbit’s hopping. However, I have taken many a figurative rabbit trail.

Sometimes in talking with someone, the conversation takes a sudden shift and I’m focusing on a different topic altogether. Later, I might even wonder how we got there from where we had been talking.

Christian theology is beset by rabbit trails of that sort. Although the Scriptures are printed in black and white (if you have a “red letter” edition highlighting Jesus’ words, also in red), there’s a lot of gray. For instance, where do the dinosaurs fit into the creation scenario? Or, what did Jesus really look like?

These “gray areas” might lead Christians to debate – even argue – over matters such as what form baptism should take, what version of the Bible to read, who qualifies for leadership roles, what type of music is most suitable for worship, or exactly when the end times will arrive and how they will affect those still living and breathing.

It’s not that such concerns are unimportant, but as the late Ted DeMoss used to say, we’ve got to keep “the main thing the main thing.” Listening to Alistair Begg on the radio recently, he said something similar: “In the Bible, the main things are the plain things, and the plain things are the main things.”

Exactly what does that mean? I think DeMoss and Begg both were saying that although some elements of the Christian faith that are disputable, and things in the Bible that are hard for even the most astute theologian to understand, there are plenty of truths and principles plainly expressed. Crystal clear. And those are the “main things” upon which God wants us to focus.

For instance, are there many ways to God? Is it “multiple choice,” depending on one’s preference or inclination? Jesus emphatically said no. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). He also stated, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). Such statements leave us with only three options: Either Jesus was lying; He was a lunatic, with a mentality comparable to a poached egg (as C.S. Lewis put it); or was telling the truth – He was God in the flesh.

What about earning eternal life on the basis of the good we do, weighed against the bad? That’s certainly one of the Bible’s main things, but it’s also very plain. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). And Titus 3:5 affirms this reality, declaring, “he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”

Okay, what about striving to live for God after we become saved by faith through His grace? Are we saved by grace but sanctified by sweat? What Jesus told His followers 2,000 years ago remains true today: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Plenty of other “main things” are plain in the Scriptures, but one of the most important is the final thing Jesus commanded before His ascension to Heaven: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).

More than anything, Jesus wants others to know Him, follow Him, and be fruitful in living out all that He and the Scriptures teach. As the apostle Paul wrote, asserting another main thing, We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God(2 Corinthians 5:20).

What we commonly call “the Christian life” isn’t easy, but it’s simple. All we need to do is study and apply the plain things. After all, they are the main things.

- - - -

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly re-published, “Business At Its Best,” “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. To read more of Bob Tamasy’s writings, you can visit his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, or his website (now being completed), www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.

Live Nativity To Be Held On Signal Mountain Dec. 12-13

"Enough Is Enough" Series Continues Sunday At Metro Tab Church

Bob Tamasy: "But We’ve Always Done It That Way!”


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will host a live Nativity on Wednesday and Thursday from 6-8 p.m. each night at 1160 Ridgeway Ave., Signal Mountain, right across from the Signal ... (click for more)

Metro Tab Church invites the public to join them this at Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Pastor Reita Ball, co-founder/co-pastor will continue to preach from Dr. Steve Ball's book "Secrets Of A Giant ... (click for more)

There’s a story about an aging monk who had a pet cat. The feline was fine, except when its owner was engaging in silent meditation. Then its constant meowing and rubbing up against his leg was ... (click for more)


Church

Live Nativity To Be Held On Signal Mountain Dec. 12-13

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will host a live Nativity on Wednesday and Thursday from 6-8 p.m. each night at 1160 Ridgeway Ave., Signal Mountain, right across from the Signal Mountain Post Office. All are welcome to come journey to the stable with shepherds and wise men, and reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ. The event is free and performances will be ... (click for more)

"Enough Is Enough" Series Continues Sunday At Metro Tab Church

Metro Tab Church invites the public to join them this at Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Pastor Reita Ball, co-founder/co-pastor will continue to preach from Dr. Steve Ball's book "Secrets Of A Giant Killer" on the subject of "Enough is Enough." "We are a dynamic multicultural non-denominational church. The music ministry is led by Pastor's Rob and Crystal Alley and Metro Praise. Our ... (click for more)

Breaking News

County Detective Says He Was Bit, Kicked, Spit On By Rapper During Controversial Arrest; Federal Authorities To Investigate

A county detective said he was bit, kicked and spit on during a controversial arrest of an aspiring rapper on Dec. 3. District Attorney Neal Pinkston, after reviewing video taken by a neighbor on Donaldson Road of the Dec. 3 incident, has referred the investigation to the U.S. Justice Department. Detective Blake Kilpatrick, who has since been placed on desk duty, said he and ... (click for more)

Popular Young Reporter For NewsChannel 9 Terminated By Sinclair As She Battles Cancer

A popular young reporter for NewsChannel 9 has been terminated by Sinclair Broadcasting as she battles cancer. Alex George wrote on her Twitter account on Friday, " Hi all, I want to clarify for those who asked. I want to assure you that treatment is going incredibly well. The decision was not made by me it was @WeAreSinclair . They terminated my contract." The 22-year-old ... (click for more)

Opinion

TVA Land Grab

The Georgetown land grab is just ‘Business as Usual’ for TVA. For the past 80 years they’ve shown their stripes in this matter - 170,000 acres seized at LBL, countless acreage taken in the Tennessee River Valley. Land taken for coal and nuclear sites. All by the same play book. All from average people. We want this, you have this, we get this. I worked with TVA as a ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: USA Today Is Wrong

After spending half of a century in the newspaper business, you will find it universal that one’s “personal ethics” demand you leave children off the news page. You don’t interview an 11-year-old who just watched her house burn down and now can’t find her kitty. You don’t take a kid’s picture at his daddy’s trial and, more than anything, never publish a word that would cause a child ... (click for more)