by Mike Ratliff
1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of teaching about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. Hebrews 6:1-2 (LSB)
Many years ago, my wife and I were members of the same church we belong to now, but it was much smaller back then and the leadership was completely different than it is now. It was also at a completely different location. We had been members there for several years when we got a new pastor. I was a deacon and a Bible teacher. On Wednesday evenings we had a meal at church followed by various Bible studies our Pastor wanted to do. One thing he did for awhile was a “stump the pastor” question and answer time where we would ask him hard Biblical questions and he would try to answer them. One Wednesday we went and he stopped me on the way in and told me he had to go make a visit to the hospital and he wanted me to fill in for him in the “stump the pastor” thing. Talk about terrifying… In any case, I agreed to do it. All went very well until right at the end. I was asked about disciples and discipleship. This was in the late 1990’s so it was before God had taken me through my radical turn around, but I had been studying this very thing for weeks just before this. I responded that all true believers are disciples. I was very surprised when an older man I did not know loudly interrupted me and said I was wrong. He said there were carnal Christians and there were disciples. I responded that what most people call carnal Christians are probably not really Christians at all, but were more than likely just religious unsaved people. It got quiet. The questions ended. We were done. Later my pastor heard all about it and told me that I was right and did a good job. Three months later the company I worked for moved my job from OKC to Tulsa and so my wife and I sold our house and bought one in the Tulsa suburbs and moved there in early 2000. 18 months later I was recruited by a Hospital management corporation located in Lenexa, Kansas. Their offer was too good to turn down. I was to be their Database Administrator and would not have to work on Network stuff or P.C. stuff or Email stuff at all, just Database management. I took the job and we moved to the Kansas City area in September 2001 just a week or so before the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. I worked for them for over 20 years and retired in December 2021 after I turned 70. While we were in the K.C. area God did a huge amount of reconstruction In this heart. As a result of that I started this ministry and became a contributor to Christian Research Network.