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more familar with Florida Theological Seminary


Concepts on  Christian Perfection


A Thesis Presented to Dr. John W. Shindoll
Discussing the Various Aspects of
Biblical Perfection









by
Reverend Marvin A. Jackson



INTRODUCTION

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  2 Tim 2:15


It was a cool autumn evening and the sun cast an beautiful bronze stain across the western sky. The saints of God were gathering for the weekly Wednesday night Bible Study. We had arrived early and I sat quietly in pensive thought as I listened to the deacons responsible for leading the group in devotional prayer. Occasionally I would briefly glance up to see the expressions on their faces as the ardently lifted their requests up to the Lord. Some times it felt as though the prayers were quite lengthy and superficial but this was our tradition; one not to be criticized. After prayer, we sang several hymns from the Baptist Hymnal and intermittently switched from singing to praying with each of three deacons taking thier turn. This was 1995 but somehow this worship setting carried me back to a little white church in the country. It was there I first consciously encountered the presence of God. Oh how far I from there I had come.

Finally it ended and I watched as the late comers quickly came and took their seats. They moved quite briskly so as not to attract much attention to their tardiness. Across from me sat Mother Johnson, she was the oldest saint in attendance. She was one of my favorites. Like clockwork during times of heated worship, she would spring to her feet with the joy of heaven and dance before her God. Or sometimes, without warning, she would let out a blood curdling screech which always would startle new comers to our study. I was use to it though. The room was fill with those established saints of our congregation; the guardians of the faith. Theirs was a theology filled with religious traditions deeply etched into their religious psyche. It did not matter to them what subject was being taught by the Pastor as long as it did not threaten their ardent beliefs about scripture and their God. For this was a group of traditionalist who held strongly to traditons of community and denominationalism. To tamper with their theology was to violate the very fabric of their religious consciousness....a danger to be approached only by those with a selfless desire to attain martyrdom.

The Pastor. He was an impressive figure. Tall and eloquent with a bombastic baritone voice; you know, one thought to be ideally suited for his vocation. It echoed with authority and commanded the attention of his audience. He was a educated  man of the cloth. A graduate of one of the most liberal seminaries of the day plus degrees of higher learning conferred upon him from secular institutions. He was in his element standing poised ready to begin the study for the evening. Tonight the book was Hebrews. A book filled with great principles of the faith centering around Christian perfection. Tonight we would study the 5th Chapter and specifically the ninth verse... And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him...

Perfection; an idea which had caused much concern in my early years as a Christian. I had read in the bible a passage from St. Matthew which said, Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matt. 5:48 Each time I read it a feeling of frustration and confusing would engulf my soul. For me it was thought to be a goal unreachable and yet to be strived for. I was very acquainted with my spiritual inadequacies. As King David had once said, My sins are ever before me and this I knew quite well. So how could God ever expect me to reach perfection. In my mind, perfection equated to sinlessness; a life free of error or excuse. And no matter how hard I tried or how hard I prayed, I always somehow managed to miss the mark. That was then, but this was now.

When my Pastor, in his exegesis of ... more

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His

The family, after some initial cross-examination, welcomes, feeds and rooms Huck with
an amiable boy his age. With the light of the next morning, Huck estimates "it was a
mighty nice family, and a mighty nice house, too"(110). This is the first of many
compliments Huck bestows on the Grangerfords and their possessions. Huck is impressed
by all of the Grangerfords belongings and liberally offers compliments. The books are
piled on the table "perfectly exact"(111), the table had a cover made from "beautiful
oilcloth"(111), and a book was filled with "beautiful stuff and poetry"(111). He even
appraises the chairs, noting they are "nice split-bottom chairs, and perfectly sound,
too--not bagged down in the middle and busted, like an old basket"(111). It is apparent
Huck is more familar with busted chairs than sound ones, and he appreciates the
distinction. Huck is also more familar with flawed families than loving, virtuous ones,
and he is happy to sing the praises of the people who took him in. Col. Grangerford "was
a gentleman all over; and so was his family"(116). The Colonel was kind, well-mannered,
quiet and far from frivolish. Everyone wanted to be around him, and he gave Huck
confidence. Unlike the drunken Pap, the Colonel dressed well, was clean-shaven and his
face had "not a sign of red in it anywheres" (116). Huck admired how the Colonel gently
ruled his family with hints of a submerged temper. The same temper exists in one of his
daughters: "she had a look that would make you wilt in your tracks, like her father. She
was beautiful"(117). Huck does not think negatively of the hints of iron in the people he
is happy to care for and let care for him. He does not ask how three of the Colonelss sons
died, or why the family brings   ... more

more familar with

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