I am blessed to be allowed to travel over much of the United States and the world, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One of the reasons I enjoy doing that so very much is that every area seems to have a unique story to tell.
I am a history buff, for starters, and absolutely love seeing old forts, battlefields, the roots of where our nation came from. But I have found that not only does every area have a "traditional history" to tell, most areas also have a rather, shall we say, "nontraditional" history as well. That is to say that, many areas of the country seem to have their own enjoyable weirdness.
Such is most definitely the case with my most recent travel foray, Point Pleasant, W.V. I recently spent three very enjoyable days in that lovely little town, preaching at a Bible conference. Should you ever be privileged to go there, you must definitely see the traditional historical sites. My daughters and I, who were my traveling companions for this meeting, saw many things that I will never forget.
I recommend that you see the town flood wall by the Ohio River. There is a massive mural painted on the river side of it, telling the entire history of the area. Fort Randolph is another must-see. The Mansion House Museum overlooking the river has a spectacular display of artifacts.
But the star of the town, the undisputed champion of "you've got to see this," is the Moth-Man. For the uninitiated, the Moth-Man is a creature that is said to stand some 6 feet tall, with eerie glowing red eyes and about a 10-foot wingspan. Several people back in the 1960s claimed to have seen this otherworldly creature. In the days to follow, there were reports of numerous unexplained animal deaths, caused by something that cut with the precision of a surgeon.
In the center of town, just across from the post office stands a metal statue of the Moth-Man, complete with the eerie glowing red eyes. All of us had our picture taken with him, my daughters being attacked by him, and me fighting with him. I saw the Moth-Man in all of his metallic, sculpted glory, and lived to tell about it.
What, pray tell, does this have to do with faith and religion? Simply this: People are often afraid when there is no reason to be afraid. With all due respect to those who truly believe otherwise, I think it is safe to say that there really never was such a thing as the Moth-Man. But looking over the handwritten letters in the Moth-Man Museum, there were certainly people who feared it, whether it was real or not.
For the born-again child of God, the Lord has made an amazing promise to us. I John 4:18 says "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." When I accepted Christ as a young boy in 1979, I began to learn about his love, and I loved him back. The more that I have grown in his love, and the more that I have learned to love him, the more of my fears have simply gone by the wayside.
He has paid for my sin debt and, therefore, I need no longer fear condemnation. He has prepared a mansion for me in heaven and, therefore, I need no longer fear hell. He has tasted death for me and, therefore, I need no longer fear death.
Recently I told my church, "the Lord wants you to go to heaven more than you want to go." If a person has repented of their sin, received Christ and become the new creature in Christ that II Corinthians 5:17 talks about, he or she can lay their head on the pillow each and every night without need of having to fear what would happen if they never saw the dawning of the next day.
I saw the Moth-Man and lived to tell about it. But better still, I met Christ and will live to tell about it for all eternity.
Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, N.C., and the author of several books. His books are available at www.wordofhismouth.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.