(Note: If you have not read the earlier introduction, you will want to do so).
In discussing the new focus God has brought to me, I wish to first provide a little background for those who do not know me, personally. My name is Phil, aka JCServant. Over two decades ago, I handed my life over to Christ after studying numerous religious texts. God spoke to me, through the Bible, showing me how much I hurt Him and others through my selflish, sinful life, how I deserved death, and how He, in His love, took my place on the cross. I began attending church, and searching God’s Word to learn more about following Him as a disciple.
Over the years, I discovered some very exciting truths. Unfortunately, not all of them lined up with orthodox teaching found in most churches. In discussing them with pastors and leaders, I often became frustrated as they would shut me down with arbitrary arguments. Why would the leaders of God’s Church stand in the way of His Glory? As a secondary matter, it did not help that I found services dull and boring. Most of what was taught, I already knew from previous lectures or studies. I wanted to serve, but could not find a way for my passions and skills to fit into the traditional model of local gatherings.
At the same time, I continued to find exciting truth in God’s Word, and the writings of others. Some of those lessons I never heard from a pulpit or sermon. As I discovered them, I would want to share them with others in my church. However, more often than not, they would upset the leaders and more traditional members of the congregation. As I continued to learn, my frustrations eventually led to my disassociation with any major denomination. After all, Jesus taught us not to pour new wine into old wineskines, and that He does not author confusion. I certainly felt confused at times after my discussion with those members.
Eventually, I married, and made numerous Christian friends (many of whom attend and support traditional church). Together, we continued to learn and grow together, through we did not always agree on all points. For some of us, God opened up door to personal ministries outside of the context of a major denomination or church.
Recently, through a discussion with a pastor, I realized that a chasm has grown between those who supported the traditional, institutional church model, and those who had left it for less orthodox approaches to gatherings and faith. It forced me to take stock of myself, and the core beliefs of my faith. I realized that Christians, as a group, have (perhaps) lost sight of what is truly precious… or, at the very least, lost proper perspective of our priorities.
I also began to understand and appreciate just how much God had shown my wife, friends and I over those years. At so many places we felt confused and frustrated, just to have God shows correct our understanding of a difficult subject. And, I knew that for the encouragement of the body God wants to share what He taught us. At the same time, we, too, can continue to learn through the church… the true body of believers. Through this blog, the show, and dialogue (comments, emails, and more), we can do just that.
We will start with the heart of the matter, the Gospel message. Ultimately, as Christians, we stand upon Christ and His finished work on the cross for our sins. Then, we will look at some different ways to approach scripture, church (or gathering as believers), missionary work and ministry. We shall continue to dive into scriptures and teachings from others, providing different perspectives from what you hear from most pulpits. The focus of these studies and discussion shall be on those topics that impact us today as a body of believers in a post-modern world. You will not find a long dissertation of Calvinism, the doctrine of the Trinity or a case for young creationism. While these topics may fascinate some, we feel that they do not ultimately impact the commands God has given us. In fact, lengthy debate into those topics only pull us from that which Christ has called us to do.
Set in mud, we may certainly go off our plan as the Spirit leads. We may spend a blog entry and show covering a question or sharing a point brought up by one of our subscribers or friends. Our ultimate goal will always to be to glorify God by loving one another.
Along those lines, we do ask everyone to refrain from speaking negatively about specific churches, or siblings in faith. We do not glorify Christ by doing so. And, while we may point out issues with certain orthodox church doctrines from time to time, we will focus squarely on glorifying God by discovering the new methods and routes He reveals to us. Ultimately, no one has a perfect method of raising a family, gathering as a church, or understanding God’s ways. My friends and I are no different.
I hope you will join us on this exciting journey. Below is a rough outline of our first dozen blog entries & shows, to give you an idea of our early thoughts. Again, this is set in mud
By His Grace
Phil aka JCServant