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Archive for the ‘Theology’ Category

Baptists and Sound Doctrine

american-baptists

Last month I was accepted into the American Baptists as a Pastor. This is a radical shift from the Independent Christian Church in both structure and in Doctrine. My turning from the Independent Christian Church to the American Baptists came through my theological shift over the past 18 months. For that period of time I have continually questioned the doctrinal beliefs of the Independent Christian Church and its overall structure of Church Governance. My questioning of my own tradition lead to months of deep study of theology and comparing 2 different vantagepoints. This study forced me to look much closer at “Free Will” theology and take a closer look at classical Baptist Doctrine which would be called Calvanism or Reformed Theology. Through this journey that was done prayerfully I discovered that Free Will Theology has many holes in its basic framework. As I dove into Reformed Theology I found a framework that matched up more closely with the biblical text than any other doctrinal stance that is in our culture today.

Since going through this shift and becoming a part of a denomination as a Pastor I have found a greater assurance of what I believe and a contentment that cannot be found in Free Will Theology. When anyone who is a Christian begins to understand what it means to be “saved by grace through faith” without any works playing a part of our salvation they should find a comfort and a joy that can only come from being as Christ-centered as one can be in this lifetime.

So much of the time people in the Church do not understand where their church stands when it comes to the area of Doctrine. What a church believes will affect everything they do and how they approach each other and God. Without a good understanding of who God is and how He works with those who are His you can easily find yourself frustrated with the Christian life. knowing good Christian Doctrine can be a liberating experience and give you a greater sense of peace. If you have no idea where your church stands then find out and see if it matches up with what the New Testament teaches. I believe with everything in me that Reformed Theology is proper Christian Doctrine. Whether you agree with that statement or not you need to have some type of doctrinal foundation that directs your relationship with God.

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Personal Conviction

As a Christian we should always have the desire to grow. I think that many have that desire in the Church, but hold back when God convicts them of certain issues. By holding back from God we in turn hold Him back from pouring out more blessings into our lives. Conviction sometimes comes in moments when we least expect it to. It comes from the Spirit of God into our lives when we have been giving ourselves over to God in greater ways. God is trying to get our attention through conviction, but are we listening to Him? Our relationship with God is meant to be a continuous growing process, but for some it can become a stagnant routine that they simply go through each week in worship. Growing is never easy, but in the Christian life it is worth the effort that we have to exert to move forward spiritually.

Sometime last week I was having my quiet time with the Word and in Prayer and as I was praying there came to my mind a certain television show that I have been watching. All the way through my time in prayer that day I kept seeing images of that particular show. The rest of the day I had a heavy burden on my heart and talked it over with my wife about this conviction. I told her that I believed that God was telling me to lay down that certain program. So when the program was on a few days later I made a decision never to watch it again. What I discovered the following week was a greater sense of God’s presence in my life and a greater amount of peace. I want to be a Christian who is filled up with the Spirit of God as much as possible. To be that person I must give into the convictions that the Holy Spirit places on my heart. It is the age old art of dying to myself. This is never easy, but it is definitely worth the reward of going deeper with God each passing day.
” The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45, NIV)

What we put into our beings is what will always come out!

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