You may be aware that I’m General Editor of the Christian Research Network, which is a sister outreach with Apprising Ministries. Below is an unsolicited testimony piece from Jon Cardwell, pastor of Sovereign Grace Baptist Church, which originally ran at CRN.

Pastor Cardwell also serves as a member of the board of directors for AM so I republish his post below for the edification of readers here:

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”Jude 3

After Ingrid Schlueter started Christian Research Net some four and half years ago [SLIGHT CORRECTION: It was 3-1/2 years ago] and then turned it over to Pastor Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries, Ken had invited a few of us to take part in this endeavor who were not already on Ingrid’s Slice of Laodicea blog. At the time, I didn’t even blog. As a missionary-pastor to remote bush Alaska, I was pretty cutting-edge at the time by having a website where I did post some articles, yet I did no regular blogging; nevertheless, I agreed, because I could see, that even in a place as remote as a Yup’ik fishing village on the coast of the Bering Sea, false doctrine was making its way to us through, as Jude puts it, “certain men [who] crept in unawares” (Jude 4).

After prayerfully considering that a location where a diverse group of Christ-exalting, cross-centered, gospel-saturated, scripturally-minded individuals could provide input and point to web addresses where the contributor’s routine research in sermon preparation, &etc. would take them, I believed that I could provide some helpful input. I realized even then that while I could not do what Ken Silva did, or what Mike Corley or Chris Rosebrough or Mike Ratliff did, I also realized that they could not do what I do, nor would they have the same perspectives that I had.

A pretty quick glance over the list of folks involved on the “About Us” page will tell you that we are a diverse group of people. Though we are frail, fallen, and full of sin apart from the grace of God in Christ Jesus, I believe that at the heart of each one of the contributor/editors is an unwavering faithfulness to the five solas of the Reformation and a desire to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

My prayer is that we may contend for the faith without being contentious; and I believe that is also the desire of the other contributor/editors here at CRN. Certainly, we may miss the mark in our efforts to do so at times, nevertheless, we should be open to receive gentle and loving rebuke when we have erred (for to deny that we do not and will not err denies the scriptures), and humbly recognize that apart from the grace of God in and by and through Christ Jesus, we have nothing; and simply, we are nothing.

Although some of our readers, even some of the contributors here at CRN, may not have this particular perspective with regard to the sovereignty of God and His providential working, but I see every occasion of error and false doctrine that arises as an opportunity for us to proclaim Christ crucified, buried, risen, ascended, and coming again, according to scripture. I wrote an article in my first few weeks after coming onboard CRN with the title, “I Thank God for the Emergent Church.” Yes, though I would disagree with many, if not most or all of what the Emergent Church (or Emergence Christianity) stands for, in addressing issues that they believe, concede, or contend against, we should thank almighty God that He, through them, have given us opportunity to preach Christ crucified. Purpose-Driven® has provided us the same opportunities; as with Word-Faith, contemplative prayer, Roman Catholic mysticism, and cults of all sizes, shapes, and varieties. If proclaiming Christ crucified were not our goal at CRN, then I would rethink my participation. As it is now, the articles and links provide this poor old earthen vessel ample opportunity to have the privilege and honor to exalt the Person and atoning work of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Personally, in the future I hope to provide some articles for CRN through Justification by Grace that will attempt to tackle issues that many may not want to handle; and Lord willing, handle them from a perspective that will truly glorify God and exalt the name of Jesus Christ.

Some articles that have provided a bit of controversy recently or at least a difference of opinion have been:

“Do Dogs Go to Heaven?”

“Did Jesus Go to Hell?”

…or even quotes like this one from Loraine Boettner.

Some controversial topics I have in mind to broach in the future will deal with Arminianism, sovereign election (which is being covered currently through our Romans 9 series), the responsibility of man, Hyper-Calvinism, Internet ministry (yeah, I know; kind of ironic, huh?), among several others.

I’d like to leave this article on a particularly scriptural note, and perhaps a perspective that many of you have not thought about. Since the Lord saved me by His amazing grace 25 years ago this past June 3rd, I have had the honor of serving Him in some interesting places and situations. He has allowed me to be a witness for Him, not only in central and northern Luzon, but also in the southern Philippines where Christian missionaries are daily in danger of being kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf. In Negros Oriental, I received open death threats on more than one occasion; once by a “Christian” pastor. Our Sovereign has allowed me the privilege to minister among people literally living in catacombs of garbage and filth. Our blessed Lord has also allowed me ministry among the Aleut people and the Yup’ik people of remote bush Alaska, where conditions are sometimes extreme and isolated, and many of the “conveniences” of city life are missing. Our Sovereign has also allowed my family and me to suffer this interesting, unidentified physical ailment in my body, which forced us to have to leave the Alaskan mission field. Yet, with all that, perhaps the most challenging mission field and ministry endeavor that I have faced so far, is service to Christ as a grace preacher in what is known as the Bible belt. These are interesting times indeed.

5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
2 Corinthians 4:5-12

Pastor Jon Cardwell’s post also appears at his personal blog Justification by Grace right here.