I read on TitusOneNine that the revered lay evangelist Lee Buck has died. I’ve never met this man, though I’ve seen him from afar when each of us attended the Plano Conference following General Convention 2003.
In honor of this man who knew his Savior and loved God’s people, this man who wept for the lost and gave himself to telling Christ’s gospel story so they might be saved, I’m posting his essay “Warning: Soul in Danger” (as posted elsewhere, including David Virtue’s site). Touching to know he know basks in the light of which he wrote so poignantly.
WARNING: SOUL IN DANGER
by Lee Buck
ROMANS 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”- NIV
As I sit before my computer, alone in my office, a great and powerful sadness fills my very soul. I see a malignancy reaching throughout Christendom and it is insidious, surreptitious, clandestine. It is awful and enormous in its ramifications and so abstruse and mysterious that literally millions of Christians don’t even know it exists. It is a burden on my very soul. I want to write about it, yet, at the same time, at my advanced age and state of health, I still have an ego which resides in a pretty frail old body. I don’t want to be known as a “legalist” or “radical fundamentalist”.
Yet, even as I write, I know that there are those who will say, “He is opinionated.”. That is probably true. They will say, “That is pretty legalistic and unloving.”, and I don’t want it to come out that way. However, whatever the way that what I have to say is perceived by those who receive it, please know that I am not a “hate monger” or “legalistic and unloving”, but rather deeply concerned for the many lives I have touched and loved over the many years of serving our Lord Jesus Christ.
Whoever you are, I love you and care for you with a love put in my heart by a loving caring God. The keyword in all I have to write is “RELATIONSHIP’. Read on at your peril. If you were the parent of a five year old child and that child inadvertently started toward the center of a very busy highway; what would be your reaction? Certainly, if you had any love for that child, any tender and caring feeling for its well being, you would probably scream out a warning, “Come back, dear one !! Be careful there is danger in that roadway!!! I love you and I don’t want you to be maimed or even killed !!!!
In fact, parents spend an enormous amount of their time, over many years, alerting their children to the physical, mental, and emotional dangers of a world which is congested with pitfalls trying to trap and enfold young and vulnerable children and youth.
In John 1:12 we discover that it is possible to become a true, real, living, breathing, and functioning child of a great omniscient and powerful God. “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” If you are a “child of God” you know it, believe it, and spend your life trying to live it. In John 10:27-30 the Lord Jesus Christ says: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” In these verses the Lord Jesus Christ lays claim to the lives and fortunes, futures and pasts, hurts and joys, loves and hates, sorrows and celebrations of all of those of us who have surrendered our lives to Him. This is such astounding and impossible and implausible news that it is almost incomprehensible. Yes, the God of the Universe who made the birds to fly, who put the world in place, who brought the seas into being, who placed the sun and stars in orbit, claims us as His own. I am doing the very best that I can with American English to reveal to you the magnanimity of this astounding fact. God is really our Father !!!!!!!!! Hallelujah, Hallelujah, and Hallelujah.
Intrinsic in this statement is another fact: He cares for us so much that He died on our behalf. You have not yet done that for your children, not because you wouldn’t, but because your death for them would not make the noble, glorious, and saving difference that His sacrifice accomplished for us.
Knowing that those of us who have received Him are His children He wants us to love and obey Him. The way to love and serve Him is discovered for us in the Holy Scriptures. These Holy Scriptures, God breathed, sacred, powerful in their import, should direct the steps we take on our spiritual journey. Knowing that we are His children and that we are to obey Him I want to look into the scriptures concerning relationship and the affect relationship has upon our lives. Those with whom we associate have an impact upon how we think, how we feel, and emote, and how we act out our lives on the stage of life provided for us. My mother used to put forth an old saying: Birds of a feather flock together. As our own children grow we want them to associate with other children who live a life style that is healthy, moral, and righteous. We don’t want them to be “hanging out” with druggies, or gang members, or dishonest and unethical friends. Why is that? All of us know that “relationship” affects us greatly. And yes, God our Father wants us to associate with those who are moral, righteous, and believing in Him and following His commandments. Jesus said: JN 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command.
In the Episcopal Church in recent years, grand and magnificent heresies have been propounded and espoused by the leadership of the church. Chief among them is the denigration and denial of Holy Scripture. In fact, one Bishop, who is in “good standing” within the hierarchy of the church has spent years defining a “new Christianity” and vacating the authority of scripture. He has never been censured or even chastised by the House of Bishops. Yet in the Prayer Book which he quotes on Sundays we find this: Q. Why do we call the Holy Scriptures the Word of God? A. We call them the Word of God because God inspired their human authors and because God still speaks to us through the Bible. BCP pg 853. The bible itself speaks about scriptures in 2 Timothy 3:14 and following: ” But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” NIV Therefore, if this reasoning is correct and the Prayer Book and the Holy Scriptures both agree, it certainly means that we should live our lives in accordance with God’s Holy Word and emulate the thoughts and actions of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. It seems to me that the most revisionist of Bishops and the most liberal of Priests could agree with this statement.
Therefore please read the following scriptures. All are from the NIV:
Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
PR 4:14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men.
PR 4:15 Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way.
1Cor. 5:9 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people– 10 not at all meaning the peopl
e of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
1Cor. 5:12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”
2Cor. 6:11 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. 12 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. 13 As a fair exchange–I speak as to my children–open wide your hearts also.
2Cor. 6:14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
2Cor. 6:17 “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”
2Cor. 6:18 “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
2Cor. 7:1 Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
Rom. 16:17 I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.
Rom. 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
II Thess. 3:1 Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. 2 And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. 4 We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. 5 May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.
II Thess. 3:14 If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed. 15 Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.
There is a reason for quoting so many scriptures, and, yes, there are many, many, many more. Some will immediately say that these scriptures have “been taken out of context” or “they really mean something else when you interpret them in a different way”. Dear Ones, it is painfully evident that these scriptures postulate abandoning any relationship with those in the church, who lead people astray or are living lives not in accordance with the Holy Scriptures and will not repent of their sinfulness or change their way of life.. Frankly, there is just no way around that fact; of course, all of the above is true only if you believe and desire to live by Holy Scripture. There are those who explain their association with Bishops and Priests who knowingly deny the Word of God by saying and believing that “in our parish we are orthodox and the gospel is preached in our parish”. There are some who believe that by associating with these wayward Bishops and Priests that they will change them and they will repent and return to the Lord and the Holy Scriptures. As one who has spent the latter part of his life serving the Lord Jesus Christ around the world, and being instrumental in several hundred thousands of people surrendering their lives to Jesus Christ, and one who has had 40 years of experience in the business world, I take the following scripture to heart:
Mt. 10:11 “Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. 15 I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. 16 I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
I have loved the Episcopal Church with a passion. All of my “Christian” life has been in the Episcopal Church and I came to know and love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ in St. Paul’s in Darien, Connecticut, many years ago. But, please listen these words: CONTROL OF THE ACTIONS, DOCTRINE, AND FUTURE OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN THE UNITED STATES IS POSSESSED BY THOSE WHO DENY THE SCRIPTURES AND ARE NOT WILLING TO CHANGE.
Some parishes which claim to be “orthodox” are still sending money to a Diocese which espouses something other than the gospel of Jesus Christ. Without equivocation, this means that these parishes are funding revisionism, the denigration of scripture, and often outright heresy. Please think about that statement for a moment. If your children were being led astray by a man who is a sexual pervert, would you knowingly send money to that man for his living expenses? Frankly, the “old man” inside of me, who went into two shooting wars would rise up, and I would do something which would be violent and tragic. Dear ones, the life we live here is short and often tenuous, but the day is coming when we must stand before a Judge who will separate the sheep from the goats. Do you believe that? I do, because my scriptures tell me it is so. Those of us who are believers must stand for what we believe and that belief centers around the Word of God. That courage or lack of it will one day be on trial. As a believer, are you capable of standing in the face of ridicule for the gospel in which you believe. Are you able to withstand the flaming darts of those who will denigrate you as a person with all sorts of terrifying and horrific appellations such as BIGOT, HOMOPHOBE, LEGALISTIC, FUNDAMENTALIST, BIBLE BASHER, UNLOVING, UNCARING, IGNORANT, and a host of others? The early Christians were martyred for their faith believing that they would stand before Jesus one day.
REV 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.
REV 12:11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
I have congestive heart failure and twice my heart stopped and I had to be revived. There is one thing certain for all of us. One day we will all die of heart failure and we will all from the greatest to the least of us stand before Him.. When I think about standing before my Lord, I am reminded of an old Methodist Hymn:
When the Roll is called up yonder
When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more, And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair; When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore, And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there. When the roll, is called up yon-der, When the roll, is called up yon-der, When the roll, is called up yon-der, When the roll is called u
p yonder I’ll be there. On that bright and cloudless morning when the dead in Christ shall rise, And the glory of His resurrection share; When His chosen ones shall gather to their home beyond the skies, And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there. When the roll, is called up yon-der, When the roll, is called up yon-der, When the roll, is called up yon-der, When the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there. Let us labor for the Master from the dawn till setting sun, Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care; Then when all of life is over, and our work on earth is done, And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there. When the roll, is called up yon-der, When the roll, is called up yon-der, When the roll, is called up yon-der, When the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there.
One day, those who have loved and served Him shall all stand together praising the Lord Jesus Christ and we will delight in the Savior and bask in His love. REV 20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
REV 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Fearfully, I send out the message I have written. You see, there is still a “little boy” within who hungers to be loved and respected and regarded well.
Fully understanding that some will not receive this message in love, I believe that these words are words of warning for each soul who reads them and I am willing to risk censure and disapproval if what is written saves one soul for Jesus.
Love and Joy,