The Honesty of Forrest Gump and the Tiptoeing Church


Have you watched the movie Forrest Gump? 

I have probably watched it less than 5 times. Probably because its pretty long. But though long it shows us the many facets of how a sincere life goes on, in a sin ridden world. Sincere? Yes. Because one of the refreshing things that we see in the movie is the sincerity of Forrest. Though he was obviously lacking in intellectual prowess, he was nevertheless always sincere and honest. Virtues of which even the Christian church of today, sadly, sorely lacks.

In a very disturbing way, there seems to be “sin”, that discourages people in the church, from discussing things openly, especially touchy subjects, like “Who’s being disciplined or Why did the brother leave or could we fall into pride or are we guilty of spiritual pride; are we self righteous or separatist, or what was done about the brother that slandered the other brother; do pastors really get admonished?” There are surely things to add onto that short list, because sin is sin. In fairness, I dont think it would be healthy to discuss discipline, as if it were a trivial thing. We have to consider the pain of the repentant brother or sister in the matter. And it wouldnt be encouraging in their restoration if we talked behind their backs. But, for as long as the devil is the devil, he will keep the church from facing and talking about such things. He will keep the church amused by the thought that to stay away from such things, is entirely spiritual. Because things like that simply tend to erode the faith of believers in the life of the church, the leadership and Scripture. Such things tend to simply explode or implode at some point, depending on your perspective, or depending on how you get hit by the explosion. So, it actually works for the devil that people avoid talking about sin-laden moments in church, and how God’s holiness is offended by it. It actually works for him that people can nurture malicious thoughts about someone, be suspicious of some brethren in the church. We tiptoe (which is very, very stressful) around people, behaving like British Ambassadors sent to discuss terms of surrender with Adolf Hitler. In a moment like that, words always have to be carefully chosen, lest you be suspected of some treachery against God and His church, lest you be suspected of nurturing some sin that needs to be taken out by high intensity counseling.

  • In fairness, i have benefited much from counseling.

But there are those who are more ready to pounce than listen and give benefit of doubt, that the brother or sister has no agenda of sin or ill will against the church or God Himself.

I imagine and believe that when the Lord instructed the church to love one another, it surely meant to be gracious and open, talking about anything and everything under the sun. After all aren’t we family? When Paul said that we ought to speak the truth in love, I imagine Forrest Gump, speaking his heart out on what’s in front of him, not holding back for no reason. And why should he? There was no malicious intent in Forrest. At least that’s what we see in the movie.

Dear Lord, what plagues us that we can’t speak in an honest way without being tagged as odd or sinful?


A Back-slidden Church


We are not in love with God as we should be, when in fact many in the church are simply in love with the idea of God, but not God. Many in the church are in love with the idea of church, in love with the idea of ministry, but are nowhere near heaven!

We would like to think that as a church we have achieved so much for the cause of the Gospel, when all we have actually done is to adjust it again and again and again until the world finally has greatly accepted it and has left many believers wondering what the Gospel looked like to begin with!

  • The world’s ‘acceptance’ of the Gospel is not good because it sees the Gospel, simply as another variant of religion; that it is just one more message, one more way to get to heaven. And that by being tolerant of it, they have greater chances of getting to heaven, WHILE STILL HOLDING ONTO DOCTRINES OF DEMONS.

We would also like to think that just because we have all these books, we have so many seminars, so many conferences, so many good Christian writers and preachers, speaking of the Gospel and speaking of the cross and the glory of God and His Son and the Holy Spirit that the church SURELY (we think) is zealous for God!

  • Doctors Running Around. Maybe we should think about that scenario like doctors running around from one operating room to another, to the emergency room to another room, in a disease ridden environment or in a war zone. In a disease ridden environment no one is truly healthy.
  • The health of a patient depends on how far or near he or she is towards death. But the surety of death is there.

Much of the church can be likened to that; preachers running here and there, trying to revive the church. And at some point trying to resurrect a valley filled with dry bones.

Some believers shall surely be quick to defend and say, “But we can’t be that backslidden! Look at our attendance; look at the people coming into the church every Sunday!”

  • And I will say, attendance is never a gauge for new lives in Christ!
  • We need to ask still, “Is there anyone truly being born-again?! Is there anyone new coming to church who has been newly and genuinely saved in Jesus Christ?! Or are churches simply shuffling people around?!”

What many Christians fail and ignore to ask today, and thus deceive themselves is, “IS THE LIFE OF CHRIST SEEN IN THE CHURCH?” or “ARE PEOPLE REALLY IN LOVE WITH GOD, ACCORDING TO HIS WORD?”



There will be heartaches, there will be setbacks; we shall be frustrated by our own flesh and the devil and this world.

In as much as the church is a glorious work, we need to remember that it is composed of fallen but redeemed sinners, living in a world of people who reject God. The imperfections of fallen humanity can indeed at times, hobble the high hopes and even our joy in serving the Lord.

discouraging people.

There will be discouragement OUTSIDE THE CHURCH.

We will greatly be helped if we will realize that there will be opposition to the name of God from people who don’t follow Him. Even in this day and age of great tolerance the true Gospel is still very much met with fierce opposition and “dagger looks”.

  • The Lord did say, “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.” (Matthew 5:11).

The reality of being a Christian and a faithful Christian church is that there will really be people who hate us.

At this point, even if you think they’re the most respectable citizen of our society or a wonderful neighbor or a loving relative or a first class friend or a beloved family member, for as long as they’re not in Christ, they can be a very real source of discouragement for us.

There will be discouragement INSIDE THE CHURCH.

DEMAS. This was very painful for the apostle Paul because Demas was obviously a trusted worker. If Mark was useful for ministry to Paul, perhaps Demas much more. But he left Paul. He not only left Paul but the work as well. And the way he left tells us that the way he left was like a mouse running away from a cat. He left as quickly as possible. It’s possible that he realize the kind of death that Paul was sentenced to could also be his death. And he did not want to die that way, so he left. His leaving, tells us that he is obviously not a believer at all. He did not want to die for the Gospel. He was probably useful to Paul when the going was quite easy, but when the heat was turned up, he left.

  • THERE WILL BE PEOPLE FROM WITHIN THE CHURCH ITSELF THAT WILL TURN OUT TO BE PAINFUL DISCOURAGEMENTS. Turning out to be unbelievers in the way they will leave the work of the Lord. (To be clear, not every departure tells us that they are not believers). But there will be departures from the church that shall obviously tell anyone that they were seeds planted on shallow soil. Just like the traitorous act of Judas, there will be Judases in the life of any true church. Those days, shall be painful days indeed.

Can we imagine that happening to one of us? If one of us had a hearing and it was crucial for majority of the church to be present to convince the judge of that brother or sister’s innocence, wouldn’t it be discouraging if no one showed?

The discouragement of walking alone.

It was obviously painful and frustrating for Paul to be left alone just like that.

If we were in his position, we would have been asking, “I thought we were supposed to love one another, encourage one another.  Where did that all go?”

This is perhaps one of the reasons why Paul wanted Timothy to come over as soon as he could, “Make every effort to come to me soon”.

  • He is a prisoner in a cold, Roman dungeon, awaiting his second trial before Nero, and death. Great soul that he was, he yet needed and craved human fellowship and sympathy in his hour of trial.

THE CHRISTIAN’S WALK SHALL INDEED BE A VERY LONELY ONE AT TIMES. The Lord Himself was abandoned by His disciples when He was arrested; the most outspoken of all of them denied Him three times.

Not every time shall we have the comfort of pursuing the work of the Gospel with brethren beside us. Not every time shall we have fellow churches standing beside us in the truth. At some point they can become weak and we shall be left alone.

Do we realize this?

  • Not to realize this truth, even hobbles us into moving forward, for fear that walking alone in Gospel truth could mean that we are on the side of error. Not necessarily.

This is one reason why we should really count the cost in following Jesus Christ. Because Christianity is not for those who seek popularity or an alternative to their boring life. The loneliness or isolation that we can feel in the Christian’s reality can be very confusing, enshrouding and penetrating.


  • I guess this is doubly true for missionaries. I can imagine, if the fight for the Gospel can make pastors, believers and whole churches feel very alone, in the midst of a multitude of churches, what more missionaries who don’t have that many churches around them? What more faithful brethren?
  • That’s why to be a missionary, just as Paul was, as with many other brethren throughout church history is indeed a very unique calling. And that is even one reason why it is absolutely imperative for us to be praying for missionaries. There is a great potential for jagged discouragement in feeling isolated.
  • Many times it is the fear of walking alone that trips us into making all sorts of compromises—just to have the seeming approval of men; their love; their support.
  • We must remember that when Jesus Christ was arrested, not one disciple went with Him. During His trial before the Sanhedrin, the foremost, outspoken apostle, Peter, could not even affirm his love nor loyalty to the Savior. They left Jesus by Himself.


(To be Followed by Great Encouragements. Soon!)


ImageGal 6:7 [NASU]- Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

I once wondered as to how long the consequence of our sins stays with us… Shall such distressing problems be with us, after we have sincerely repented? Shall God immediately and totally remove these consequences from us, after we have truly realized the foolishness of our ways? Will we always have painful and sobering reminders of our sins to humble us and bring us always at the foot of the cross?

I would have to say that there are really times that the Lord shall restore to us the fortunes of our lives as they were, like in the book of Job. In fact, the Lord did not simply bring back the fortunes of Job back to him, but even increased it. God did not simply restore, but He blessed even further. The Lord can make all things new, as He does with a believer’s heart and life. He has given us a new heart, a new way of thinking and feeling for Him, for His name. But it does not mean that the consequences of our sins shall be removed immediately, sometimes not at all.

Even when we go back to the book of Job, though the Lord might have restored to Job his fortunes, it does not deny the fact that the children of Job still died. It does not erase the fact that the livestock remained stolen and his servants remained very much dead. God did not resurrect them from the dead. The reality and the pain of their deaths remains. In the same way, many consequences of the sins we have committed, the mistakes we have made, the worldly wisdom we have chosen to follow, shall remain with us.

When Pharaoh chose to be hard hearted towards Moses, in freeing Israel, Scripture presents his great lack of the fear of God, throughout the ages. When Demas chose to turn away from Christ and go back to the world, the Bible forever records his backsliding. When preachers of God’s Word today fall into all sorts of things as their congregation does, it is forever etched in the memories of God’s people. The stain of sin, and the resulting consequence, just like the stain on our clothes remains. The infamy of many, many names through church history is because of sin—consequence of their sins.

Does this mean that the Lord has not forgiven us? Do we see God as unfair because He has not changed the circumstances in which we belong to? Certainly not. If we are in Christ then truly and surely we have been forgiven in Christ. And surely God is not unfair by allowing such distressing circumstances to abide with us. For, just as disobedient children are wounded when they fall down, or hurt themselves, because they have ignored the warnings of their parents, the wounds remain with us. In fact there are scars on our bodies to prove that we have disobeyed wise counsel. God is not unfair. We need to realize that sin, whether people know it publicly or not, shall always come in a package. Package? Yes, package. The package of temptation, satisfaction (whatever sin that might be), rebellion and God’s retribution on our sins. Sin will always come with its own prison. Ready to remind us that we have offended God.

Is God unfair, if He has not changed a particular situation in our lives? Certainly not. For it says in His Word…

Ps 103:10–He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

If God truly dealt with us according to our sins, then hell would have been the appropriate treatment, apart from Christ. Being fair, is something that God cannot do. It is simply inconsistent with His justice and holiness. If God were being fair to His name, we need to realize that we deserve more consequences. If God were fair, the Lord would surely not have sent Christ at all. To which, we have hope in His name.

Perhaps the reason why we struggle with consequences is because we think we deserve better as sinners. But on what basis do we deserve better? Because of our works for the Lord? To which we simply cannot do anything by His grace. We deserve better because we…what? What shall the end of that question be? Surely there is nothing in us that can make us brave enough to say that God should not treat us, or allow the consequences of our sins to remain. THE WHOLE OF THE HUMAN RACE WAS BORN IRREPARABLY RUINED WITH REGARDS TO RIGHTEOUSNESS. There is nothing to boast about.

So what do we do?

Let us first be thankful that the Lord has not dealt with us as He ought to. Second, let us continually ask His help to yield to His sovereignty in allowing the consequences to remain. Our sinful natures constantly need to be yielded to God’s ways. Without the grace of God, it is impossible to humble ourselves before God. Third, ask Him for wisdom as to what to do, and how to follow Him in worship in all that He allows to happen. I say worship, because external obedience or compliance is not the object of salvation. Worship is! The Pharisees obeyed in so many things and laws, and yet their hearts were absolutely nowhere near the cross of Jesus Christ. Then lastly, for now, let us ask the Lord to search our hearts, as to why we committed the sin that brought about the consequences.

From my end, such things are never easy but the Lord did say in Phil. 4:13—


May the Lord help us in all that He allows to happen, and may we find ourselves humbly worshipping at His feet.

New Paint does not Mean New Hope

Am changing the name of this blog because of certain developments. 

I have seen over the past months that the initial title of the blog is far from what was in my heart. I did say Pursuing the God of grace. I liked that title because it spoke so much of AW Tozer; it could have been one of his books. But as the posts began to come in one by one, the title seemed to be going in another direction. Fractured walls, or we can say imperfections or the sins that still happen in the church, that glaringly and seemingly goes against the clear call of Scripture. The fractures are the underlying problems that seemingly go unaddressed or even neglected for the sake of peace or appearances. Non-repentance or a lack of humility can be considered a fracture, especially when it shields sin and sinners from much needed realizations of sin. 

In this case, a new or even entrenched set of leaders of the church that seem to gloss over sin in favor of new directions or new paint, as I have now pointed out. 


Fresh coat of paint on a church building is pointless unless it addresses underlying fractures that threaten the collapse of the church. If such things are allowed to continue, what you might have is a collapsed building with fresh paint on all its slabs. 

It is that sense that I agree with the brethren of old who have prayed for revival so much that it comes and overwhelms the church and consumes any more desire for sin and unrepentance. Only the Lord can bring such bright perfections to the front, in light of such blinded disciples. 

The Bible’s Vanishing Parts

If there was one chapter, at least from where I’m standing,  in the Bible, is Matthew 18, especially this part:

 15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him  his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to  you, you have gained your brother.

It seems that a lot of people have contented themselves to  be spies, talking behind people’s backs and never bringing the sin of the brother to him. It seems that its much more enjoyable to stab people in the back rather than obey the Bible. Righteous indignation is the phrase they use to cloak their disobedience, when all that it really is, is slander and back-biting. Indeed, sin is much more fun to do. Why cant people simply obey what is written here, I am not sure I will ever know. It seems that in my context, people feel more safe having others do Matthe

w 18 for them. and then when the confronted brethren react in anger, they all gang up and point to you as the bad guy, including the ones who brought the complaint! The Lord must grieve at this contorted practice of trying to bring the brethren into Christ-likeness. I wonder what kind of Christ-likeness such people were aiming for, when they stabbed you in the back?!

The other vanishing chapter that seems to be fading as well is John 13:34-35–

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Its quite obvious why I say this is vanishing as well. A lot of Christians don’t seem to see the connection between this and Matthew 18. If they truly loved you, then, they wouldn’t stab you in the back would they? If they loved you, they would truly be concerned for you and tell you the grave potential of sin in your life.

A communist shows more love in this!

Why are these portions of Scripture vanishing? Self. People want to run their Christian lives not according to the Bible, but as close to the Bible as they possibly can without being offended themselves; without curtailing the way they do things; to seem righteous as far as they can go, but not too far.

The God of self still rules. and if that’s the case, was there any cross at all in their lives?

The Gospel and Dealing with Sin.


Sin will destroy our witness to the world. Un-repented sin to the world, in their eyes, makes us no different from them; makes us no different from the greatest of cults; or other religious fanatics, who only care about the advancement of their ideas but not really God.

Sin will further destroy our love for God and His Gospel. Sin will slowly erode our love for God, for His people, for the church and our love for the Gospel and all that it stands for.

That is why, if we value the Gospel, then we shall confront sin.

IF THE GREAT COMMISSION IS STILL GREAT TO US, WE SHALL DEAL WITH SIN. So, the question for us is, “Is The Great Commission in fact still great to us?”

Do we still feel the lostness of those who are not in Christ?

Are we still concerned that they SHALL INDEED go to hell if they’re not saved in Christ?

Are we still bothered by the fact that they SHALL INDEED spend eternity in A STATE OF HOPELESSNESS AND DESPAIR AND TORMENT?

Are we still concerned and hopeful to see many tongues from many nations come to declare Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

I fully believe that many of the churches that have closed in recent years, have not considered this in all seriousness.

Maybe they thought that their size was going to insulate them from any threat to the work. Maybe they thought that their love for doctrine was going to shield them from any potential threat. Until it was too late.




We need to confront sin.

Taken Hostage.

In this day and age, I dont think there are a lot of people left clueless about the fact of terrorists and hostages. The past two decades have shown us the kind of horrors that terrorists can do, even to unarmed civilians. But have you ever considered the spiritual parallel of hostage taking in the church?

A hostage is someone unlawfully detained against their own will; putting a stop to their lives and putting them in a life threatening situation. Same with people in the church, held hostage by our laziness, held hostage by our quirks and disobediences, held hostage by our annoyance with brethren.

When we react against God’s sovereign will or His clear moral will, we raise several levels of tantrum. That tantrum now spells into laziness, now spells anger towards church leaders, especially the pastor, now spells “I dont want to do church anymore, because this is too much!” Even when, there is no clear pronounced, actionable sin that they react to. Its just them.

Another group, we can quickly add to this is people who simply have no love for the church. The dialogue goes, “Let them do it; I’m spiritual enough already, I dont need to be discipled, etc.” But all that again, is bundled up in an enigmatic pressure of stopping the life of the church dead in its tracks.

When the hearts of Christians become stale towards God and His work, the church is held hostage.

It is detained unbiblically, when in fact the Shepherd beckons us to go; its life is stunted, the opportunities for growth are lost from week to week or day to day, depending on how active the church is, and its very life is put in danger. With that kind of attitude soon, others will be INFECTED by such sin formed attitudes. Pretty soon, many in the church will feel like the church is going nowhere and also feel that they don’t like to do church anymore.

Where will such attitudes bring the church of the Risen Savior?

How dare we put our sin tainted desires over love for God and His church!

Silly Lawyers and Judges

We should ask ourselves continually, “SHOULD WE NOT BE READY TO COURAGEOUSLY EXPOSE FALSE TEACHERS, IF THEY ARE MISLEADING PEOPLE AWAY FROM GOD AND INTO HELL? WHAT SHOULD WE FEEL TOWARDS PEOPLE WHO DECEIVE OTHERS INTO COMMITTING ETERNAL SUICIDE?” And that is exactly what it is as well, eternal suicide, because hell is an eternal death. The soul of man is always dying but also, always being revived to experience punishment once more, for an eternity.

As fallen human beings, there are times when we act as prosecuting lawyer and judge of people who are tried by media. We see the case unfold on television, we learn of new evidences and new witnesses in the case, and we conclude after a while that the person is truly guilty. Even though, due process has not yet been accomplished. Here in our country, a person is guilty until he is proven innocent—a lot of third world countries and citizens experience this.

We know how to judge people, even with the slightest hint of wrongdoing. And if God had allowed a different society to unfold for us, we would have gladly been executioner as well!

But how come, when it comes to false teachers at times, so many Christians are willing to sit on the fence and play dumb? Even if, God has already pronounced them guilty.

I don’t really think that it involves our view of eternity or a man’s soul that we hold off on our needed actions of courage against such people. Because even if these were not false teachers, we gladly push people into hell for assumed wrongdoing.  Don’t we?

It’s most likely that we simply don’t share the verdict or judgment of God as strongly as we should. Its either:

We don’t believe that such people deserve hell;

Or we don’t believe in God’s holy wrath as much.

Either way, it is great unbelief.

Sitting on the fence was not the action that Jesus did towards such people. He condemned them. And even if we look at Matthew 7, which is part of the Sermon on the Mount, His first sermon, he was already condemning them. So, He condemns them in His first sermon, as He starts off His ministry and then He still condemns them in His final sermon, as He prepares to end His physical-earthly ministry.

There is no escaping the thoughts of Jesus regarding the Pharisees and the Sadducees and every other false teacher in the world.



Indifferent Visionaries?

Here we go again. . . Do you know what blind visionaries are? Precisely. No Such thing should exist, but they do. These are people who are supposed to lead the church and yet, have no desire to go anywhere. Hardly can you hear them, nor see them, speaking of wondrous things they desire for the church. Like shepherds who doesn’t seem to want the sheep to eat green pastures anymore. But they do. They want to eat green grass, drink from cool and quiet waters. But they forget the sheep.

The sheep are left in great want and at times confusion and anger. The sheep knows that they’re supposed to be led and fed, but the shepherds are not doing it. What gives?!

Leaders of the church are supposed to be the greatest visionaries of all, and yet they stand and behave as blind men and women. They can see alright, but only two feet out. That is as good as blind. They seem to look, but not really. They pretend with the small twitching of their muscles, straining of their necks, looking into the telescope, their faces seemed puzzled as to whether or not they truly see something–when there is actually nothing!

Indifference is the reason for such a malady. They love themselves. They don’t really love the church. A leader who does not love the church and does not long to lead the sheep into greener pastures, does not long to see them grow into Christ-likeness can hardly be called a leader. What are they? Only God knows what they are.

May the Lord always supply His church with leaders who will love the people and desire to lead the sheep into Christ-likeness, green pastures and still waters.

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