I am Melvin Jones. I have been a Christian since 1973. I got saved while a student at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.
The first five years of my life as a Christian were more of a meander in the woods than a walk with Christ. I was convinced that every time I sinned (no matter the magnitude of the sin) I was unsaved and had to start all over again. I was convinced that Christianity was a set of don’t do’s that would keep you out of hell if you were able to successfully obey them, or at least get your failures confessed before you died if you didn’t.
It was worse than being a Catholic. At least within Catholicism you have a general list of things you can’t do and a quick way of at least making sure you only spend time in Purgatory as long as you didn’t commit the “Big Ten” sins, or didn’t miss Church on Sunday, or Saturday if you knew you were going to be too busy on Sunday. But I digress.
Along the way, I discovered that Mother Armstrong, Elder Cannon, and a couple of other folks who took me under their wing, were wrong. They insisted that “good” Christians didn’t try to think too much. They didn’t use those words. They said things like “Let go and let God” or “you shouldn’t try to figure out God.”
When I got back to the United States in 1979/1980 I discovered Francis Schaeffer, a Christian philosopher. And with that discovery came the understanding that a Christian not only must think, he or she must learn to think better than the non-Christian. Peter even said as much when he stated that we are to be able to give a reason for the hope that lies within us (1 Peter 3:15).
And we are warned that we have to be able to think in order to spot the wolves (or as I prefer to call them – the pimps) that are out there to devour the Christian who walks about unaware.