Spotlight Interview with E.J. Cox
By E.J. Cox | Onward Christian Soliders! | TRINICY.org
TRINICY: What spiritual habits and disciplines do you follow on a daily basis?
E.J.: I try to read the scriptures and pray on my knees by bedside every night. I find that humbling myself before God resets my spiritual clock for the next day and continually allows God and the Spirit to continuously fill me. I also find that I digest and retain the scriptures better if they are the last thing I read at night. In the morning I try to watch a teaching by one of the great Christian leaders of our time. My go-to teachers are Chuck Swindoll, Charles Stanley, C.S. Lewis (or the recordings of his broadcasts) and Ravi Zacharias. I will also watch Dennis Prager and Jordan Peterson help satiate the need to keep my brain sharp.
TRINICY: Out of all God’s attributes, which one amazes you most? Why?
E.J.: The attribute of God that I admire the most is His unfailing love and grace. There is not a Christian I have met who did not deserve the most painful of deaths and eternities, myself included, for the sins committed against God. Yet, His mercies are new every morning and He blesses us above and beyond anything we can possibly earn or deserve. I am constantly reminded of Hosea's commandment from God to marry an unfaithful woman and love her unconditionally [as his wife]. So many times we are nothing more than unfaithful adulterers, turning ourselves over to the changing winds of culture and popular opinion, and yet, God is always there ready to accept us back into His arms.
TRINICY: Who led you to Christ? Who are you leading or hope to lead to Christ?
E.J.: A local Christian radio host, Bob Burney, was the one the Spirit spoke through to me. At the Baptist Church I grew up in, we always had an old-fashioned American tent revival in the summer. Mr. Burney was always one of the invited speakers. However, one year, he was invited to come to teach in springtime. It was March 2007. I was 10 years old. Mr. Burney was preaching on the Pharisees - specifically, how they believed themselves righteous because of their knowledge of the Law and Prophets, and yet they had no love and no real understanding of God's nature. The Spirit convicted me that I had been like a Pharisee, full of Knowledge but without love or wisdom. I gave my life to Christ because I realized I could only attain the love and wisdom of God through Jesus. I was baptized on Easter Day 2007.
TRINICY: What primary talents and gift(s) has God given you? How are you using them for the kingdom?
E.J.: From an early age, God inspired me with a desire to gain knowledge and wisdom. Even more so than that, God imbued me with a love of reading and writing at an early age. As I have grown and matured my chosen area to use these skills is in the discipline of history. History is nothing more than the recounting of the story that God has already written. And in the reverse, the future is nothing more than the story God has already written but which we have yet turn the page to. They are chapters yet unread. Therefore, my goal in academics, is to make sure that as I write and explicate the history of man, I turn man's eyes back to the Author of it all. It is a large part of the reason I am so enthusiastic to join TRINICY is that it gives me an outlet and tool to accomplish this task.
TRINICY: Which person from the Bible do you resonate with the most? Why?
E.J.: My immediate answer would be David. David was such a flawed man and filled with many emotions and doubts. All one has to do is read the Psalms. David shares his darkest moments of despair and doubt in the future as well as the great heights that God elevated him to. He was a great warrior. Perhaps some of my favorite scriptures to read are of the battles David fought. He was a military genius. He even shared the same temptations with which many Christian men today wrestle. David faltered many times in his sexual purity, going so far as to order one of his best men and friends, Uriah, on a suicide mission so that David could have Uriah's wife. But through all of his faults and worldliness, David comes back to God every time. He humbled himself continually before God. Thus, this broken and, by today's standards, unlovable man was chosen as the fountainhead through which the Messiah was to be born. His story should inspire every Christian today, especially men of the church. In a day where many western societies are spitting upon the idea of masculine manhood, where emasculated men are shown to our boys as what they should aspire to be, we need to look to the examples of David, Solomon, Samuel and all the great men of the Bible.
TRINICY: What social issue do you care most about? Why?
E.J.: It is too hard for me to pick any one issue. If I had to pick a top three, they would be 1. the leftist revolution and its effect in the higher realms of academia; 2. 2nd Amendment rights; 3. the over-sexualization of society and the problems that can cause.
I care about these issues because they are all related in one way or another to the basic rights inherent to human beings. With issue 1, we are seeing blatant attempts to remove the exercise of free speech on campuses, free speech and thought being the basis of any real academic substance or learning. Issue 2 is important because, without the ability to exercise our 2nd amendment rights, our freedoms will be trampled upon because the citizenry loses its ability to defend its sovereignty. Issue 3 is perhaps an unspoken issue, but it is directly responsible for the lack of empathy our society is seeing. I think it is responsible for many of the identity and gender issues in Western society. It is also directly responsible for keeping the slave trade alive and even growing it to levels unseen.
TRINICY: What does being a Christian mean to you? Why Are you a Christian?
E.J.: Being a Christian to me is making Jesus the head executive over everything in your life and allowing Him to guide you where ever He needs you to go. It means you are now enlisted as a soldier in the War of the Ages and you should behave as such.
TRINICY: What does being a Conservative mean to you? Why Are you a Conservative?
E.J.: Being a Conservative means that I am devoted to the traditional values of Christendom that have survived through the ages. It means that, while I may disagree with someone, I support their right to disagree with me. It means that I am cautious of change and I examine everything that is occurring around me through the lens of the Bible and what it tells me is correct or incorrect. It means I have a respect for those dead generations who sacrificed their tomorrows for my today and I will fight to uphold the values and institutions they died to maintain.
TRINICY: What has your experience been like as a Conservative Christian on and/or off campus?
E.J.: I have experienced blatant bias against my opinion. I have been blessed with a firm foundation that, while shaken, was not broken. I have seen many Christians walk away from the faith because of the lies and poison they allowed into their hearts at University. I even distinctly remember the Bible Study I was a member of, being told that we could not put up posters with crosses, whereas the LGBT club could plaster buildings on campus with pride flags and the Muslim student group was allowed to post posters with political causes on the main thoroughfares on campus. I learned very quickly to blend in and hold my tongue until the right moment.
TRINICY: What were your first thoughts when you heard about TRINICY?
E.J.: I was ecstatic! I was so glad to finally become part of a group that has the real potential to effect change on campus and right many of the wrongs that have occurred in Academia.
TRINICY: What book(s) do you recommend conservative Christians read to help strengthen their faith in a secular and/or liberal setting?
E.J.: The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. This Present Darkness and Piercing The Darkness by Frank Peretti. The Crisis by Thomas Paine. I would also highly recommend reading the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights as these documents are inspirational and help to illustrate the most effective ways for Conservative Christians to make a difference.
TRINICY: What advice or resource would you offer to fellow conservative Christians today?
E.J.: GUARD YOUR HEARTS! It is so easy to be taken captive by the many vices floating on the airwaves and in our society as a whole. Do not be deceived, even if you go to a Christian University, the enemy's agents are working in every way to tempt you into sin. Remember, their penultimate goal is to drag you away from the promises that God has laid out for your life. Test every thought and spirit that comes into your mind. Be especially wary of those people who speak of "humanistic" ideals. These ideas lead very rapidly to the dismantling of faith, but are presented as good and can even be mistaken by the uninitiated as somewhat Christian. The Bible tells us that the Devil is both the father of lies and that he will appear at times as an angel of light. Trust me, I have seen a number of good Christians and good men get pulled down by these deceptions. Above all things, remember who you are and most importantly Whose you are. Pray continuously and constantly search for Jesus' leading and His knowledge and wisdom.
TRINICY: What is an interesting/unusual fact most people don’t know about you?
E.J.: I was an actor through most of middle and high school and my two favorite characters I played were Oliver Warbucks in Annie and Justice Wargrave in the stage adaptation of Agatha Christie's novel Ten Little Indians.
TRINICY: What passion or dream keeps you up at night or wakes you up in the morning?
E.J.: My desire to continuously find in history, both ancient and present, where God was at work. There are so many examples!
TRINICY: If Jesus were physically here now, what would you want to ask Him or talk about?
E.J.: What was it like writing this great story and how big is the Universe, really?
TRINICY: What are the three greatest life lessons you’ve learned thus far?
E.J.: 1. Never Never Never give up. 2. Always put God first. 3. (For men) A righteous woman is truly rare and worth more than most anything in this world.
TRINICY: Which Christian song best connects with you?
E.J.: There are honestly too many to pick one. Since it is the name of my column, the hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers" has always resonated with me personally.
TRINICY: What legacy do you want to leave as a Christian?
E.J.: I want my legacy to reflect the grace and love that was shown to me by Christ. When the books of my life are closed I hope that, while I may not be counted as one of the lions of the faith, I can proudly say that I encouraged and supported them and drove them on to victory.
TRINICY: Which teacher has impacted you most? How?
E.J.: In terms of academics I would have to say my second grade teacher, Mr. Edward Ziegler. He is the one I credit with my passion for history. Every Friday was story day in his class and, because he grew up in Gettysburg PA, he would tell us stories of the Civil War and the battlefield he grew up playing on. I have certain artifacts in my collection that are from Mr. Ziegle.
TRINICY: What is your life verse? Why?
E.J.: Of the many, many verses I would choose, one that has stuck with me from my early days was Psalm 144:1 "Blessed be the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle." This verse, written by David, has always illustrated that God forms your skills and talents. While this is in reference to warfare (of which God has always been a perfecter) and it resonates with me because of that, more so, it shows that nothing you do for God or in His service is completely of your own power.
HAVE MORE QUESTIONS FOR E.J.?
What did you think of E.J.'s brief Spotlight Interview? Is there a follow-up question you'd like to ask based on his answers above? Is there a question you wish we had asked or he had answered? Leave them in the comments below or email us to continue the conversation!
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