Service of Appointment
by Raymond Peacock, Lt. Colonel –
With apologies to Neil Diamond, I cannot get the following song out of my mind:
I thought love was only true in fairy tales
Meant for someone else but not for me.
Love was out to get me
That’s the way it seemed.
Disappointment haunted all my dreams.
Then I saw (His) face, now I’m a believer
Not a trace of doubt in my mind.
I’m in love, I’m a believer!
I couldn’t leave (Him) if I tried.
There is a generation listening to these words who recognize that they were written to a “her,” and not a “him.” They also recognize that the highly cultured phenomena known as the Monkees popularized this song.
Nonetheless, by changing the words from her to him, they apply to Jesus.
It’s true, when you look into his face, you fall in love with Jesus and become a loyal believer. But is it possible to be a believer, without a trace of doubt in our minds? Through the centuries Christians have struggled to declare truth over error, to communicate an authoritative rule of faith, a faith that banishes doubt.
For example, in the first and second centuries, the teachings of the Gnostics were diametrically opposed to the teachings of the apostles. But out of that tension, and that opportunity to declare truth, came the Apostle’s Creed.
As 21st century believers today, we search for similar opportunities to declare the truth of Jesus Christ through creeds, confession, witness and service. One theologian, Helmut Thielicke, has suggested there are two ways to declare the truth of Jesus: by accommodation or by actualization. Accomodaters are those who sit on the sidelines, don’t get into the game. Actualizers are “doers.” They are in line with William Booth’s instructions to Bramwell to “do something.” To have “believers and doers” wrapped up into one, is a gift from God.
I am pleased to recommend the captains commissioned this very day who are true believers, believers “instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus” (Eph. 4:21), believers who want to actualize (do) mission by proclaiming Jesus Christ as the hope, the way, the truth for the whosoever in the emerging age. They are trained to be “Blood and Fire officers” and are now ready to be sent to their appointments.