Moving Forward

Hello Brothers and Sisters,

Of recent times, I have been doing much soul-searching in particular as it applies to Defending Contending. I have seriously considering everything from closing it down to transferring ownership to another person. However, the more I have considered this, the more tense I became. This was not because it has been mine for so long, but because this has been an opportunity that the Lord has used to help me to grow and to be able to share with others. I have been writing at Defending Contending for 9 years come the end of January 2017.

During that time, there have been things I have both read and written that I have cringed. There are posts written that have caused my heart to break before the Lord and I have had to seek repentance for my own stubbornness and lack of Christ-likeness. We have gained many viewers and lost more than we have gained. I believe that we are in a state of flux within evangelical Christianity and my heart has long been to reach out to our readers in a way that still point out the truth without being hateful, spiteful, or vitriolic in any manner even when we disagree with others.

With that in mind, I believe for the time being that a change in direction will be a profitable move. I want to lay these out just briefly.

climateoftruth

1. A new name – Truth In Grace — Reason is simply because we are truly called to preach and teach truth, but I believe we are called to do so with grace. The new picture on the website says, “Truth without grace is a prison; Grace without truth is chaos.”
2. A new tagline – “Sharing truth and faith in a spirit of love and grace.”
3. A new direction with posts
4. Additional contributors — I have just this evening reached out to two people that I believe could be a blessing to our readers.

I believe that this new direction, name change, and tagline are still very much in line with where The Pilgrim was going with the blog when he started it. Yes, we have all had to learn and I pray this will continue to reach others with a gracious spirit years in to the future.

However, I know that with the additions and changes, there will be other differences to deal with which is another reason for writing. Not all of us, even now, are in full agreement on every aspect of doctrine. I have no doubt that our differences are not salvific in nature, but I also understand that can be debated by some if they choose a hard line on some points.

For example, through the ages, men like Spurgeon, Sproul, MacArthur, Wilkerson, Conway, Baucham, Lloyd-Jones, etc. would have all agreed on many points of foundational truths that are unassailable, but they would have disagreed on some doctrines that, in my humble opinion, do not make a difference in whether a person is a true believer or not. Another example would be where Lloyd-Jones stood on the work and role of the Holy Spirit as compared to say Sproul or MacArthur. Yet, I have no doubt that they would have been gracious to each other and would have learned from each other.

Many of you know that I hold to the doctrines of grace, but it is not a drum that I have ever made a point of beating others up on. I can respectfully agree to disagree with another and still call them my brother or sister in Christ. I can disagree on things like family integrated or Sunday school, or in the style and meaning of missions, or in the version or music styles I choose to use and still call the other side of the coin a brother or sister in Christ.

Not everybody who has or who will write at DefCon are staunch Calvinists. Each of us are at different points in our Christian walk, and even one who is mature in the faith in many areas can still have much to learn as though they were a new believer. Brothers and sisters, as I get older, my heart’s desire is that my mind would be brought into closer communion with the Lord of glory. We will not be found in glory based on or divided into groups according to what we believed on certain issues. We will be in glory because of what Christ alone has done for us.

I know that each of you will have to make decisions as to what direction you will go into the future. As for me, this is where I believe the Lord would have me to walk. My issue will be that every post provides encouragement, edification, or exhortation according to the principles of God’s Word. Simply put, my intention is not to linger on one issue, one doctrine, or even appear as though we are nothing but a discernment blog. The new blog will be so much more, as the Lord blesses and is glorified.

If you have any questions, thoughts, or concerns, please feel free to reach back out to me.

I am so thankful for all we have been through down through each season that you have been part of our readership. My prayer is that this will continue for a long time, but it needs to move in a new direction effective immediately. You are my brothers and sisters in Christ even if we do not ultimately agree in the end. Thank you for your understanding.

In Christian love and grace,

Mark Anthony

5 thoughts on “Moving Forward

  1. Hey Mark, great points you have brought out in your article above, my brother. Sorry to hear you are giving DefCon to someone else to host. I like the new name: “Truth in Grace.” I may not have always commented on this ministry site, but I have read and enjoyed some of the articles I’ve read on here over the years. You are going to be missed brother, as you move on.

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  2. I have been blessed by DefCon for a number of years. It was an oasis of truth in the desert of madness when I was converted. Though I could read the word, I had no clue how to apply it to my life and the brothers on Def con pointed me in the right direction several times. I’m truly anxious that Def con might lose that matter of fact straight forward telling it like it is quality, which people coming out of the world like myself desperately need. There are myriad soft spoken blogs out there and not enough truly discerning ones. My prayer is that Def con will not lose it’s key differentiating quality and get lost in the blogosphere. We don’t have Ken Silva anymore to update Apprising.org so may the Lord protect Defcon. Amen

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  3. InChristalone,

    Thank you so much for your comments and encouragement. I will be addressing this at length in a coming post, but you have raised a good point that I want to address just briefly.

    First, there is absolutely no intention of ceasing in our desire to tell the truth.
    Second, we are not watering anything down.
    Third, we have no intention of being soft-spoken when the need arises to give exhortation or edification.

    The real crux is that what is being done is done without our entire readership in focus while doing so in a manner that is Christ-like. It would be easy to revert to being caustic, or snarky, or whatever else has been done in the past, but anybody can do that. That does nothing to point others to Christ. My heart is that first and foremost, others will see Jesus Christ and Him crucified, no matter what the topic or subject matter that is at hand.

    I pray this clarifies some of my comments in the post.

    Every blessing,

    Mark

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