Delivered at the First General Assembly of the PCA
Most of you are aware of the fact that we’re in Crimson Tide territory. Bear Bryant has been in charge of the gridirons in this area for some time. The story is told that once Coach Bryant was asked, “Coach, the secret of your success must be due to your effective recruitment program. How do you spot good material for the gridiron?” Responded the Bear: “Simple. I just look for men who are mobile, agile and hostile.”
Certainly, an encouragement of hostility is not the intention of Jude when he urges his readers to “contend earnestly” for the faith. But he is urging that the intense concentration and devotion of the athlete mark their concern for the truth of Scripture. See that fullback hit the scrimmage-line on fourth down when he’s one foot from the goal? Look at the intensity of effort symbolized in those bulging neck-muscles.
With just such intensity the Continuing Church must contend earnestly for the faith. Heap agonizing effort on agonizing effort. God’s kingdom and God’s glory are at stake. Ungodly persons are turning the liberating freedom of God’s gift of salvation into the debauchery of the new morality. Men–would you believe their audacity–are making mockery of the Lordship of God’s son Jesus. Agonize for the faith! Don’t just sit there when men speak untruth, or leave the truth unspoken. Agonize! The Continuing Church has been born out of a context of agonizing for the truth. The Continuing Church commits itself anew to this ministry of agony.