|Through The Cracks Ministries!
Statement of Faith
It is through the cracks in our humanity
that the light within often shines brightest
-- Randy Constan
All are welcome in God's kingdom
The bible says "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life". (John.3:16). The word "whoever" (whosoever in the King James version) is a plain indication that no one is excluded, and Through the Cracks Ministries believes this includes everyone willing to receive His gift. Anyone who is willing to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and trust him with their lives (Rom.10:9), and receive his mercy, grace, and forgiveness of their sins (Acts 13:38) is both saved and welcome. While there are many things we are commanded to do by our loving Lord, none of these are done to earn, maintain, or keep this gift of eternal life, or His eternal presence and commitment to us.
Salvation comes through Christ
Christ claimed to be "the way, the truth, and the light" and said "no one comes to the father except by me" (John.14:6). Christ also revealed himself to be God in human form saying, "I and the father are one" (John 10:30) and "he who has seen me has seen the father" (John.14:9-10). Jesus warned that the road to destruction is wide (Matt.7:13-14) and that many are on that road! Further, he warned us not to seek to enter the Kingdom of heaven by any other means, saying that many would try and fail (Luke.13:24). For this reason, all the efforts of Through the Cracks Ministries start with encouraging those seeking God to start and end with Jesus Christ and trust him with their lives. Christ is the only guaranteed way to eternal life, and he always confirms his presence to those that come to him with simple childlike faith. Christ alone gives us the power to become the children of God (John.1:12).
Salvation not revocable,
and the only test is simple confession
Eternal life is a gift that is given and received. Revoking that gift would mean that it was not eternal at all. God is not the author of confusion (1Cor.14:33), and numerous scriptures speak of the fact that salvation is based on what God has done, not on what we earn through our human efforts. Therefore, Through the Cracks Ministry is dedicated to helping believers to become confident (Eph.3:12) and fearlessly bold (Heb.4:16) concerning both their relationship with God and their eternal future. Since nothing in all creation can keep us from God's love (Rom.8:38-39), certainly no mere failing of a believer can be an exception. No child of God loses his/her place with the Lord because of any failing, weakness, or condition in their lives, and any statement to the contrary is a lie from the devil. The bible says that anyone who believes in Christ and confesses Him as their savior and Lord will be saved (Rom.10:9). Therefore, Through the Cracks Ministry entirely opposes any argument for excluding anyone from Christian fellowship who confesses Christ as Lord.
Christ's foremost command was to love one another,
Christian fellowship goes beyond merely "tolerating" people sitting in the same church. Sadly, visitors to some congregations are not even afforded such toleration. If we can not go the extra mile to love those who may seem unlovable, indeed those we may not even like (Rom.12:16), then ours is indeed the far greater sin. Anything else we think we've accomplished is worthless without love (1Cor.13:1-7). Love includes taking a genuine interest in the spiritual growth others, and to the best of our ability treating all brothers and sisters as family.
The wages of human sin is death, not eternal torture
Many people reject the notion of God because they can not reconcile a God of Love with the concept of sentencing someone to suffer consciously in hell forever. Several words in the bible's original languages have been translated as "hell" in modern translations, but the common beliefs about the meaning of this word are based on assumptions and interpolations of the scriptures which dangerously exceed what is written. There is no disputing the fate of eternal destruction for those who leave this life without God (2Thes.1:9). But destruction and torture are entirely different matters. There is a large body of scripture indicating that people who refuse God's gift of eternal life will simply not receive it, and instead will receive a judgment of eternal death. For that reason, this ministry affirms only that the consequence of refusing God's gift of Eternal life is a judgment, followed by eternal death (Rom.10:9). This subject is to large for a few short references here, and it is not a point worthy of contention. But for anyone struggling with this issue, information is provided on this site for those seeking answers on this important subject.
The bible contains the word of God, but the bible itself is NOT God
The bible itself says that all scripture is inspired (2Tim.3:16), and offers invaluable council and instruction on countless issues. The bible however is also full of exhortation to seek God personally for wisdom (James.1:5) and clarification on all matters. If everything we needed in life were in the scriptures there would be no reason to seek Him and there would be no disagreements between bible believing churches. This is why the bible warns us that when we think we know something, maybe we should re-consider! (1Cor.8:2). We believe that every believer should know what the bible says and does not say on matters concerning them, but then must seek the Lord as final authority on all important or questionable issues. The spirit of God also encourages us not to miss recognizing when he does something new (Isaiah 43:18-21) and the bible is filled with examples of God moving his followers in directions that seemed to go beyond the scriptures available at the time. A corollary to this is that becoming a believer does not mean denouncing our God given ability to think, or seek the Lord for a new, more personalized, or greater direction and understanding. This ministry encourages seekers to question and seek the Lord directly for everything, including any and all insights discussed here.
No perfect translations
As an addendum to the above, the bible speaks of God writing the ten commandments with his own hand (Exodus 24:12). Yet with the rest of everything in scripture, God has entrusted the work to imperfect human writers and translators. This becomes more apparent with any serious study comparing bible translations, and the history of what has and has not been included in the canon of scripture. No perfect translation exists and experts still disagree on many biblical issues. Some translations are certainly more accurate than others (the "Living Bible" for example is a paraphrase and not a translation), and others considered by some to be the only "true" translation are often the worst in some aspects. But the Lord does not expect each of us to become biblical scholars and masters of the original languages, and certainly does not want us to settle for the views of so called experts, that are both imperfect and subject to opinion. This doubly enforces the need to seek the Lord, who promises His own spirit to guide us (John.14:26), on all important matters.
There is an enemy!
The whole of scripture testifies of a deceiver called the devil, and anyone following the Lord has eventually dealt with this reality. This ministry does not seek to give glory to this being, but does wish to educate those seeking the Lord that they do indeed have an enemy (1Pet.5:8). True to his deceptive nature, he successfully convinces many seekers of God that the very notion of a devil is foolishness, and so is able to work destruction in their lives under complete cover. Religion is quite often one of the devils greatest tools, and many testify of how their experience with religion was the very thing that caused them to lose their faith. The bible says the devil is a defeated foe and his time is limited (Rom.16:20). But for the present, this devil will stop at nothing to deceive and discourage anyone seeking the Lord. Disguising himself as both ministers of the gospel and even an angel of light (2Cor.11:13-14), satan is undoubtedly behind the decision of most of the world to reject God (Rev.12:9).