By David M. Kowalke Jr. | @hongkongkowalke | TRINICY.org
BASIC QUESTIONS cont.
TRINICY: Out of all God’s attributes, which one amazes you most? Why?
DAVID: While there is no one thing about God that is greater than another, the Sovereignty of God draws from me a huge sense of wonder! Since the incommunicable attributes of God are for Him alone, I cannot, nor will ever, know what absolute Sovereignty is. While God does not cause everything to happen, i.e. sin, nothing happens that He does not allow. Therefore, at the end of time, the evil, neutral, and the good will neither thwart, nor determine the Purposes of God, but He alone Wills. “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21
TRINICY: Who led you to Christ? Who are you leading or hope to lead to Christ?
DAVID: I was a Senior at The American School in London, England, 1971/72. It was there I began attending a youth ministry that was begun by John and Kathy Riggs, graduates from Florida Bible College. While I had for a long time been spiritually sensitive, it was in that ministry, mainly to American high school students, that I understood, clearly for the first time, that salvation was solely by grace through faith in Christ alone.
While only Christ saves, it has been my life-purpose to witness to the grace and mercy that are mine in Christ. There have been times I have been a planter, sometimes one who waters and sometimes the reaper. My goal throughout a day is to be sensitive to the spiritual condition of those I encounter. Who do I hope to lead to Christ?...any who don’t know Him!!
Psalm 71:17-19 sums up my desire, as a grey-headed man, to pass on the gospel, which I responded to as a young man, to others, young and old, and to those who will respond to Jesus through them.
17 O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim
your wondrous deeds. 18 So even to old age and gray hairs, O God,
do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation,
your power to all those to come. 19 Your righteousness, O God,
reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things,
O God, who is like you?
TRINICY: What primary gift(s) has God given you? How are you using them for the kingdom?
DAVID: There is a difference between Personality, Ability, Passion and Spiritual Gifts. It is important to know the differences and similarities between them. I am a relational person, and that is evident in my personality, abilities, and passion, both pro and con! My spiritual gifts, which I believe are given by the Spirit to believers at salvation, are pastor/teacher and mercy. I have sought to use all the ways the Lord has made me and gifted me in the ministries and other jobs I have been involved with, as youth pastor, church-planter, pastor, and Christian high school teacher. As I am retired now, as I drive periodically with UBER, I daily have opportunities to meet and talk with people in conversations that often lead to amazing spiritual encounters!
TRINICY: Which person from the Bible do you resonate with the most? Why?
DAVID: It must be David. Of course we share the same name, but from my childhood on, through my ‘seeker’ years and into my life as a follower of Jesus, even until today, there are many things that I look to and have learned from. It would take a long autobiographical book to unfold how the Lord has used David in my life, but I will arbitrarily pick three examples.
First, I remember seeing David as a rather unimpressive person at first. I was very shy as a boy and when I would hear of David working as a lowly shepherd boy standing up to monstrous Goliath, I would wish for that kind of bravery. God steps into the one-sided conversation and challenge from Goliath to have the Israelites present their champion to do battle with him to determine the winner between the Israelites and the Philistines He says that David can ‘rest easy’, stand up to Goliath and to let Himself deliver Goliath into David’s hands. And He tells him why...SO THAT THE WORLD WILL KNOW THAT THERE IS A GOD IN ISRAEL! When this account (and no, it is not a Bible story, but a historical event) is put alongside the passage by Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:18-31, I am encouraged to see that God relishes in using foolish people, weak people, base and unimpressive people, as well as ‘dedicated nobodies’ as His tools and weapons! That means He can use me!
Second, I, like most people, am aware of David’s sin with Bathsheba. When we ask, “What was David’s great sin?” the answer comes back, “Adultery!” We often forget the awful sin of David murdering Bathsheba’s husband! How could he think of, plan, and execute such a diabolical sin...the way we, too, do ours! It is the sorrow and confession in Psalm 51 that brings true and complete forgiveness, cleansing and healing to what David calls his “crushed bones”! When I see my sin the way God sees it, our relationship is completely restored!
Third, David’s identity was bound up in his relationship with the Lord, not in his feelings or his failings. David was not Adulterer, nor Murderer. Acts 13:22 “...He made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, A MAN AFTER MY OWN HEART. He will do everything I want him to do.’” Who I am is bound up in Whose I am!
TRINICY: What social issue do you care most about? Why?
DAVID: Abortion. Every social issue should be affected by a biblical world-view, but this one will not leave me alone as that which I see to be the most egregious. I was at the March for Life in Washington DC years ago and in Richmond, VA in 2019 and I speak out when I can. We can speak the truth in love, but without love, the argument for Life will not be heard. Many of my posts on Instagram address this issue. To explain why this is so important would take more than this venue, but suffice it to say that it demonstrates how a person with a Godless world-view will “strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel”!
TRINICY: What does being a Christian mean to you? Why are you a Christian?
DAVID: My being a Christian is a personal necessity. Martin Luther, when confronted on his Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura positions, said, “Here I stand, I can do no other!” I don’t define God by my experiences, and who I am. It is God who defines my experiences, and who I am. The existence of a personal God is evident, so that man is “without excuse”. It is not so much that I have chosen to accept Christ; it is that I cannot deny who He is, that He is the Creator, that He loved me enough to accept me, just as I am, and loves me enough not to leave me just as I am! A life of obedience ought to be my expression of gratitude and worship to Christ.
TRINICY: What does being a Conservative mean to you? Why are you a Conservative?
DAVID: We are told, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” While I believe that all Scripture was God-breathed, I also believe that the U.S. Constitution was perhaps the most well crafted document written by men. Our country was founded on God and Freedom. I believe that “government governs best that governs least”. Therefore, I believe that we should ‘conserve’, or preserve the original meaning of that document. It is not so much a Party that I am a part of. The far left (Communism) and the far right (Fascism) are both totalitarian and godless philosophies. True conservatism is best spelled out in The Constitution and The Bill of Rights. I could be a true conservative and still end up rejecting the two main parties. I will give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, but I will give to God what is God’s.
TRINICY: What has your experience been like as a Conservative Christian on and/or off campus?
DAVID: This question does not apply much to my experience as a conservative Christian on campus, since I graduated from a Bible college and a seminary. However, in the secular world in which we live, two things stand out to me. First, the humanist culture that is absolutely contrary to a Christian world-view displays the blind arrogance that would silence decent and respectful conversation in almost every arena. This is exemplified in many ways, such as limiting freedom of speech, controlling the dissemination of information and the attempt to act as ‘thought police’ among our youth, in particular. Second is the tightly held-to philosophy that there are no absolutes and that one cannot be sure of anything. The person who espouses this philosophy ought to be asked, “Are you sure?!!”
TRINICY: What were your first thoughts when you heard about TRINICY?
DAVID: The very first was, “How do you pronounce that?!” But seriously, I thought that the minds of the future leaders of the world (and of their families) are being molded and shaped, both unintentionally and intentionally. Upon the distorted altar of ‘fairness’, ‘safety’, ‘toleration’ and a personal sense of ‘entitlement’ is the pursuit of Truth, and He who is TRUTH. God does not promise knowledge or understanding to the mocker or the scoffer. But to those who would seek Him with their whole heart, He says, “they will find Me!” These young adults need and deserve our undying love and support! Cindy (my precious wife of almost 43 years) and I have four amazing children and spouses, and 9+ grandchildren who are way above average! The goal of my life is to be faithful to Psalm 71:17-19, and to invest in our children, and in our children’s children, forever! When I hear of and meet with previous students from North Raleigh Christian Academy who desire to stand up for Christ, I am in awe of the faithfulness of the Lord. 3 John 1:4 “I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are walking in truth.”
TRINICY: What advice or resource would you offer to fellow conservative Christians today?
DAVID: Know what the Truth is. Speak the truth in love. Love is not how one feels, nor if we like someone. My personal definition of Love that hung on my classroom wall is: “Love is wanting God’s best for someone, expecting nothing in return, believing it will probably cost you something.” Love is revolutionary. Love is “awful”! Jesus, in John 15 and John 17 said that the world will know if we are His disciples by the love we have, and that they will actually have the right to believe or reject that Jesus came in the flesh by the display of our unity! Salvation, the Christian Life and Mission are bound up in one word: “LOVE”. Nothing more. Nothing less.
TRINICY: What is an interesting/unusual fact most people don’t know about you?
DAVID: There are a number...I was born in Hong Kong, also lived in Japan, Sweden, the U.S. and the U.K. Please Google “What is the most boring day in history?” The answer will come: April 11th, 1954. THAT IS MY BIRTHDAY! HOW RUDE!
TRINICY: What passion or dream keeps you up at night or wakes you up in the morning?
DAVID: Truly: How can I make a difference today and will I be able to see the purposefulness of today when I go to bed tonight? Without a life of significance, I die inside.
TRINICY: If Jesus were physically here now, what would you want to ask Him or talk about?
DAVID: “What do You want me to know?”
TRINICY: What are the three greatest life lessons you’ve learned thus far?
DAVID: Of course, impossible to answer specifically or completely, but:
TRINICY: What legacy do you want to leave as a Christian?
DAVID: Wow. Legacies, like funerals, are for those who remain and to determine. However, I wouldn’t mind if it were said of me, “See how he Loved.”
WE WOULD LOVE TO FEATURE MORE CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIANS ON TRINICY.
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