Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Upcoming article about the RTM conference

Paducah Parenting Magazine will graciously run an article regarding the conference in their September issue. Below is the article as it has been submitted to them:

Mark Twain wrote in his autobiography, “In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.” His words could not be more apropos than now.

In a time when many are embracing post-modernist philosophies (what is true for you and what is true for me may be complete opposites, yet they are both valid), the questioning of beliefs passed down from generation to generation are coming under close scrutiny. And perhaps none is more closely eyed than those pertaining to religion. Yet if what Mark Twain writes is true, should we not question the ideals and beliefs passed on to us? Are the beliefs and traditions we grew up with accurate? Such is the subject of the Real Truth Matters conference coming to Paducah on October 11th at the Robert Cherry Civic Center.

The Real Truth Matters conference will take an in depth look at the crux of Christian belief. . . the Gospel. Without it, there would be no Christianity. But the question has arrived: Is what we are doing today in Churches across the United States in line with the Bible, or are we just passing on traditions that in the end, mean nothing? “The question has been raised quite well by those in the emergent church,” says conference speaker Michael Durham. “But in the end, their post-modern ideas do not lead them to a logical solution. On the other end, we have Christians who claim to stand on Biblical truth in their doctrine, but they will do anything and everything to get someone into Christianity, even if it means compromising the Gospel. Others agree that many of the traditions of our forefathers are not good, but they set out to create new, equally dangerous traditions. One of the purposes of this conference is to start a dialog among Christians in our area. In an age where Christians are increasingly under attack for the faith, and persecution is on the rise, we have to make sure we get the Gospel right. It is the bedrock of our faith, and we have to keep it true.”

And the fight is not a new one. Even before the last word was penned on the book of Revelation, deceivers had already crept into the early church. “False prophets existed in the Old Testament,” says Michael. “There always seems to be a work of deception working along side any work of God. That is exactly the problem we find in the Garden of Eden. Jesus warned about them from the sermon on the mount to his discourse just before his death. Paul encountered false teachings as well as Peter and John. The book of Jude is a direct warning against such. Jude encourages believers “to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” because deceivers had crept in unnoticed. The key word is 'unnoticed.' We often think that deception will be easy to spot. But that is the very essence of deception. It is, by nature, not always easy to spot. It will often take on many forms of truth. . . dress itself up in God's word and be nearly accurate. But any errancy in the gospel renders it useless. It's like putting a drop of extremely toxic poison in a gallon of water. Not many would take the chance on drinking that water once they know what is in there.”

And even though deception is often masked under the cloak of truth, the results of it are unmistakable. In 1991, the first year of the decade of harvest, a major denomination in the U.S. was able to obtain 294,000 decisions for Christ. That is, in one year, this major denomination of 11,500 churches was able to obtain 294,000 decisions for Christ. Unfortunately, they could only find 14,000 in fellowship, which means they couldn’t account for 280,000 of their decisions. This is normal, modern evangelical results. And one of the greatest complaints against the Christian community is the fact that many who claim to be Christian are no different than those who do not claim any faith. Yet the scriptures describe a believer as “a new creation.” There is an obvious disconnect between our reality and that described in scripture.

“These are the topics we are going to tackle at the Real Truth Matters conference,” adds Michael. “We are going to look at where we have gotten it wrong, the essential elements of the gospel, and what true conversion really is. It will be a time for Christians to come together and learn the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Once that power is realized, we have no more need of man-made traditions to entice or lure people into the kingdom of God.”

The Real Truth Matters conference will be held at the Robert Cherry Civic Center on Saturday, October 11 at 10am. More information and registration can be found at

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