Owen C. Carr has been
in active ministry since 1942, pastoring and serving as president
of Valley Forge Christian College from 1979-82. While pastoring
The Stone Church of Chicago (Assemblies of God), Carr started WCFC-TV38,
a 5-million-watt Christian station. Now a full-time evangelist,
Carr has read through the Bible 92 times. He recently talked about
Gods Word with Promotions Coordinator Ron Kopczick.
PE: How and why did
the Bible become a significant part of your life?
In my first pastorate, at the age of 19, one morning in prayer I
asked the Lord, "What can I tell these people? They have served
You longer than I have lived." The reply came almost as an
audible voice, "Give them My Word. They dont have to
answer for what you think. But one day they will have to answer
for My Word." From that day on I have studied the Bible and
preached His Word.
PE: What role has
the Bible played in your 60 years of ministry?
CARR: The Bible
has been the foundation for my personal lifestyle and for the standards
established for our home. It has also been the foundation upon which
I have tried to build the churches I have pastored.
PE: Can you recall
a specific instance when you found comfort in Gods Word?
CARR: When faced
with a very difficult situation, I was reading in 2 Chronicles 20,
where Jehoshaphat prayed, "Neither know we what to do: but
our eyes are upon thee" (verse 12). I knew I should keep my
eyes on God and not on the overwhelming problem.
PE: For those facing
life-and-death issues, how can the Bible help?
CARR: Faith is
very important for life and for death. "Faith cometh
by hearing the word of God" (Romans 10:17). Our faith
is anchored to Gods Word and based upon the nature and character
of God, who cannot lie (Titus 1:2). If our faith isnt strong
enough to die by, it isnt fit to live by. If we saturate our
minds and hearts with Gods Word while we are in good health
and comfortable circumstances, our faith will be strong for the
times of testing.
PE: How should a believer
study the Bible?
CARR: There are
five important steps. Read the Bible to know what it says. Study
the Bible to know what it means. Memorize the Bible to hide it in
our hearts (Psalm 119:11). In this way we can meditate upon the
Bible "day and night" (Psalm 1:2). All of this is to no
avail unless we obey Gods Word.
Jesus said, "If
ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). Obedience is
the highest expression of our love to Him. We cant do that
unless we know what He said and understand what He meant.
PE: What long-term
effect does Bible reading have on the believer?
CARR: It builds
our faith. "Without faith it is impossible to please [God]"
(Hebrews 11:6). Were saved by faith. We live by faith. We
walk by faith. "By faith Enoch was translated" (Hebrews
11:5). That is how we will be translated, or taken into Gods
presence, when Jesus comes. Talk about a "long-term effect."
PE: Do you have a
favorite passage to share?
CARR: Romans 12:1,2.
"I beseech you therefore by the mercies of God, that
ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto
God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this
world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that
ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will