Dispatches connects visitors to the Maritime Division’s website to first-person perspectives from Salvation Army officers and staff around the region. This edition is penned by Captain Rodney Bungay. Growing up as the son of Salvation Army officers, Capt. Bungay states that due to the many transfers of his parents he has no home town per se, but lists Gander, N.L. as the spot where he’s stayed the longest. He has served in the Salvation Army for 10 years and is currently posted with his wife, Captain Paulette Bungay, at the Centre of Hope in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Friends have you heard the latest Christian archeological news:
“A team led by Simcha Jacobovic, a Canadian documentary director, used a robot to photograph a number of limestone burial caskets, which may provide an unprecedented glimpse into Christianity’s earliest days. But the potential significance of the discovery is almost certain to be overshadowed by controversy, with Jacobovic using it to bolster his widely disputed claims to have identified the bones of Jesus and his family nearby.”Wow, another discovery to add fuel to the faith fires. Now let me confess I am a tremendous enthusiast of all this stuff. How I loved that great mystery detective novel/movie “The Da Vinci Code” or its carbon copy cousin “The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail” each with their own notion of a marriage between Jesus and Mary Magdalene that has been a frequent topic in literature. How about others like Aelred of Rievaulx in his work “Spiritual Friendship” which claims the relationship of Jesus and his disciple John was like a “marriage”. Or even the Discovery Channel documentary on “The Lost Tomb of Jesus”.
Yes, you can call me a “boneless” heretic but this stuff is absolutely amazing to me and for over 2000 years these “new writings”, these “new archeological discoveries” and such come and go like the seasons. Each one seemingly trying to undermine the validity of the testimony of God’s Word and then some well-meaning extremist with the fervor of a Pharisee gets all up in arms over what has been said by the various sources in the ongoing angry debate of defending the Jesus Christ and his written word.
Well as we venture into this Easter season, how grateful I am that when I too put on my own Pharisee colored robes and became emotionally angry and try to defend my Savior and his Holy Word that a very wise man taught me a key lesson.
He opened my eyes to see that we are not called to fight and defend God’s Holy Word against those seeking answers. Instead, he wisely reminded me that we are called to unleash His word and His sweet aroma into our world and let God’s Word speak for itself through our witness.
With tremendous clarity he taught me that what I (as a zealous Pharisee) was trying to do was like a miniscule atom molecule trying to defend a Majestic and Massive Elephant. He reminded me once again that our God is an awesome, all-knowing, all-powerful, all-merciful and an almighty sovereign in the truest sense of the word. And at that moment when I heard the proverbial penny drop, I was awoken from my zealous Pharisees pipedream to fully discover that I need not trouble myself defending God but to wisely use what time I am given to declare his truths in and through my life.
Let me be the first to confess, that when we hear a friend’s name being slandered it understandably upsets and angers us. Likewise, how much more does it bother us when we read or hear all the ping-pong arguments and claims of Jesus’ sexual orientation or his holy blood line of offspring or even question his actual historical and spiritual existence?
Friends, as they have gone on through our History these things will come and go. We can argue and debate these things until Christ calls us home, but to what glory?
And if we do fight hard and long to prove the point of our persuasion in a bitter angry theological battle, in reality have we not lost the greater war of our calling to show God’s love and live lives that testify to his existence within us?
At Easter time, I am always reminded that we are the only Bible that some people read and as such we are called to unleash the awesome and undeniable truth of God’s word and the perfecting work of Jesus Christ in our daily walk and witness. Yes with failings of Peter, the temper of James, the youthfulness of John and the flaws of Thomas, we are to be transformed as they were by allowing God’s presence to be unleashed in our world as our imperfections are surrendered on the potter’s wheel of a perfecting God.
Finally friends, what about the imperfect claims on the lost bones of Jesus? I have every conviction that these scholars and archeologists of every persuasion will in due time find the bones they seek, for if they look closely the location is clearly given in God’s Word.
The bones of Christ are seated at the right hand of the Father still attached to the resurrected body of Christ. And “make no bones about it” the fact remains that in due time every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is their savior, redeemer and friend or their final Judge. The question for each of us now is what will we do in our quest for answers regarding the bones of Christ?
— “Atom” Rod