THE SOAP BOX
anchoring the soul in hope,
encouraging in love,
& building up in faith.
The audio function for BCBPA.com has officially been launched! In such a time when technology is giving wings to new capabilities, I had an "urge" to reach out to readers as well as non-readers with this unique approach.
I truly understand the busyness of life. In today’s generation, the majority of our time is spent at work or in the classroom, and is used up reading professional information that we "have" to and don't necessarily "want" to bury ourselves in. The reading assignments tempt us to categorize reading as work and not as pleasure, plus most people don't have the time or energy to read for enjoyment anymore.
So, plug your earphones in and catch up, you can now ‘listen’ while you travel to and fro, in the waiting areas at your various appointments, or just about anywhere else you find yourself waiting. We end up waiting a lot don't we? It's always hurrying to here and to there, and then we just end up waiting. Hurry up and wait has become the norm, but don’t waste the gift of "wait time" by checking social media, because it often brings more pain than pleasure. Let BCBPA speak life into you as you listen and refresh your soul.
We live in a day and age where political correctness and relativism is the norm. Nowadays, it is very important to clarify definitions, so when I say, “relativism,” I mean holding to the position that that ALL truth is relative to the individual, so all moral positions and all religious systems are “true.” Simply speaking, what is true for you may not be true for me, it is just a matter of each person’s perspective or opinion. This may be true for what kind of ice cream flavor one prefers, but there is a HUGE problem with this line of thinking for serious matters…
Even with the most basic survey of world religions today, it will show that they contradict one another on their sacred and most cherished major claims. The bottom line is that they simply all CANNOT be entirely true at the same time, though each system “claims” to be entirely true.
Let me define another word I am about to use, that seems to be yet another misused word today – “tolerance.” By definition, tolerance simply means “to bear with or to put-up with ideas other than your own.” True tolerance involves recognizing and respecting others when WE DO NOT APPROVE of their values, beliefs, and practices. There is an intimate connection between tolerance and truth that most people are not aware of and that is because we can only tolerate what we find to be false, mistaken, or in serious error in some capacity. If we could all agree on everything, then we would not need tolerance. Only when people genuinely disagree does tolerance become absolutely necessary.
Most people who throw the word “tolerance” around treat it as though it means “to agree with or accept other ideas.” To agree with all ideas is the ultimate “thumbs up” giving way to the approval of relative truth. We cannot and should not give a “thumbs up” to an idea that we cannot and do not approve of, especially if it violates our conscience, but we also need to give a “defense” of why we disagree, what we believe, and why.
I do not believe in relative truth, because I believe in a standard of truth that is quite the contrary: Absolute Truth. To say that something is absolutely true means that it is independently true for all people, even if they do not know it or recognize it to be true. The existence of absolute truth is a necessary foundation of Christianity.
Jesus said in John 14:6 - “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
The entire truth claim of Christianity stands or falls on the Resurrection. This website is dedicated to exploring the uniqueness of the Resurrection, its claims, its arguments for and against it, using the model of: 1 Peter 3:15-16 – “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.”
This is the basic outline Christian apologetics (The defense of Christianity) should follow. I have created the ministry name “Pastoral Apologetics” for a purpose, because I have seen some really great believers not following the standard with “gentleness and respect.” Some have come across as very negative, arrogant, and rude. Blue Collar Believer Pastoral Apologetics will focus on while we can strongly disagree with people, we can and will still treat them with gentleness and respect. The attitude that accompanies any claim may be intolerant, but charitably, respectfulness, and kindly disagreeing can be an act of genuine tolerance and love.
All too many times believers and unbelievers alike have not only walked away from the faith, but have been tempted to dismiss Christianity because of the intolerance of Christians, while not truly taking the time to consider the evidence for Christianity, more specifically the Resurrection.
Believers should treat all people with respect, but stand firm in the faith, be thoroughly equipped to defend, while loving and being compassionate with a pastoral heart. A lot of people have emotional barriers and misconceptions that are hindering them from coming to Jesus, which has nothing to with an atheistic or agnostic belief, and just need to see love in action.
Listening IS loving and when we do this, people tend to open up, because they understand that we care. Caring for a person who is struggling with a difficulty, being present during a time of pain, praying with someone in a crisis—these are the moments when spiritual breakthroughs occur.
Of course, no matter how lovingly and humbly we speak, some people will choose to reject God’s love. Some will hate Him, and even us. As we strive to follow Jesus, let us understand that if people hate us, let’s be sure that it’s because we genuinely follow Jesus, not because we show the world an "un-Christ like" attitude.
Jesus predicted His crucifixion, death, and Resurrection and His closest followers remembered His words, actions, and recorded them. He made numerous appearances after His Resurrection. The disciples who were once afraid, transformed and courageously proclaimed the news, risking their lives to preach, and most of them, if not all of them, were killed for this belief and not one recounted. Unbelievers, like Jesus’ brother James and the persecutor Saul (Paul) were transformed by a Resurrection appearance, and their bold and courageous behavior does not make sense unless they knew with absolute certainty that Jesus had been raised from the dead. The rapid growth of the early church confirms the validity of the Resurrection. I am one of the hundreds of millions of people who have a testimony of a transformed life through the centuries showing the power of the Resurrection.
The destitute, lost, and despairing all over the world have found hope in Jesus, and because of this truth, the most conclusive proof for the Resurrection is that He is living within believers today with His transforming power. May now be the time to consider the evidence for Christianity. My heartfelt prayer is that this site will be used as a tool to lead many to Christ.
Check out the other services too. :-)
Yours in Christ and humbly,
William H Schnakenberg IV
Blue-Collar Believer Pastoral Apologetics
1 Corinthians 15:19-20 – “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
Romans 10:9-10 – “..if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”