Posts tagged ‘salvation’

September 17, 2013

The Baptist Church

So this past summer my wife and I took some time off from our regular church to visit another church as we typically do every summer. What happened next was pretty wild.

We visited this church in NW Houston and enjoyed going the first time. We decided to go back again the following Sunday and really enjoyed it again. We even got invited to a SS Class by a wonderful couple and enjoyed that class as well. What we noticed after leaving the parking lot that second visit, was on their church program, there was a small inscription below the grand name of the Church that stated it was a Baptist Church. We were surprised at noticing this since we didn’t see your typical loud sort of dancing in the aisles type of folks. At least that’s what I think of when I think of typical Baptist Churches. Anyway, we didn’t really make a big deal out of it, since the Church had great preaching and the worship time was excellent as well. We continued to go to this church for the rest of the summer and really felt a calling to join this Church and leave our old Church. We felt that we were being called to another Church and that this Church would fit that bill.

Well, after inquiring from a couple of members of the Church about membership, they told me to discuss membership with one of the associate pastors. So I did. I met with him at lunch one day and asked him about what it takes to join their Baptist Church. He told me everything I knew and expected except one very big difference and that was Baptism. I told him I had not been ‘dunked’ AKA ‘Fully Immersed’ Baptism, but more like sprinkled Baptism. We agreed that after this point, he would go back to the Head Pastor and that they would discuss this topic with the Board of Deacons at their Church. I said great, let me know what they say please and we left it at that.

Several weeks later, the associate pastor sends me a short email and says let’s meet. I agreed to do so and we met this past Wednesday. He told me that the board of Deacons had met and had a short 2 points and that was the end of that conversation on that topic. They said point 1) They couldn’t meet with every family individual that wanted to join their Church and find out about who was or wasn’t Baptised or fully immersed and 2) That it’s the Baptist Church and we are known for Baptism ‘dunking’ and that’s how we have always done it and that’s what makes us Baptist. Thus, my membership into their Church would have to be by ‘Full Immersion’ Baptism or else we couldn’t join their Church.

My immediate thoughts were sad and profound. I thought, man, Jesus Wept(John 11:35). Here we are in 2013 as one body of believers trying to make it in this crazy world and trying to reach out to a lost world that NEEDS Jesus and here you are pushing away a family that wants to join your church because of BAPTISM??? Not because I have never been baptized, but because of the ‘way’ I was baptized…WOW!

I was shocked and dismayed. I never knew that this was how the Baptist Church is. I never knew that regardless of your standing with ‘The Church’ and your standing in your community and your standing with God almighty, if you’re not Baptised by ‘FULL IMMERSION’ well you can’t join ‘our’ church.

I feel very sad for the Baptist Church as a whole today. I have had a little time to swallow what I have been told and it still doesn’t make me happy nor does it make me ever want to cross the doors of ANY Baptist Church EVER again, however I do know that those in that church will make it to Heaven because salvation isn’t predicated on baptism. Just sad to know that they alienate people when they stand on this ‘sand’ of ground. We are to be welcoming to those who want to accept Christ Jesus and not push away those who need to know about the Gospel and Good News of Jesus. For me, they are pushing away and hindering the body of Christ and not fulfilling the Great Commission. We need to do everything I believe, to bring those to Christ at any cost and then to find out that, well, you can’t join our church because you MUST be ‘Dunked’ by baptism to join. That’s complete hypocrisy to Christ teachings.

If the letter of the law was what the Pharisees and Sadducees were guilty of 2000 years ago, then so is the Baptist Church today. They state that because Jesus was Baptised in the Jordan river, then they must do so because of the same, by full immersion. Well, if that is true, then everyone better go to the Jordan River and get Baptised otherwise, per the letter of the law, any other place is unequal and thus should not be accepted!

My walk with Jesus has been over 15 years strong. I was at a Methodist Church, when I was baptized, not a Baptist Church. I was sprinkled with Holy Water and accepted Jesus that same day, 15 years ago on April 19, 1998. Are you stating that my salvation and baptism is null and void because I wasn’t ‘dunked’? I think not. I don’t think they believe that either, but if my baptism isn’t good enough on that day I was baptized, then what are they saying by making that stand?!?!

Thanks for the short time we were able to be a part of your church, but your ‘law’ you live by is flawed and must be changed. Because we ‘always have done it like that’ is not a justification for preventing people from being a healthy member of your congregation.

Sad to write this, Sad to believe this is true, Sad to know that there could have been a wonderful relationship that could have bloomed.

For final clarification, it would be easy to ask folks that want to join the Baptist church, that if they haven’t been baptized before, that they will be baptized by full immersion, but if they have been baptized, then they will accept that baptism. Simple in my opinion.

I will pray that God changes the Baptist Church’s stand on this.

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May 1, 2012

Salvation

I had a very rough week here at work last week. I was beaten up a bit you can say. It was pretty tough. I was trying to figure out why.  Then I remembered that my wife Heather and I were about to go on a spiritual retreat with our 10th Grade Sunday School students along with other senior high students. The weekend was to be a powerful one and the devil was trying to extinguish my excited spirit.  I wasn’t having any of it of course!

As we drove last Friday afternoon after work to Camp Piney Woods in Groveton, TX, I got pulled over by a police officer. I was like,”Oh Great, this will top off the week I had perfectly!”  The police officer said I was speeding, when I thought I was going the speed of traffic.  I also told him, after he asked, that we were headed to a Christian retreat for the weekend and that my wife is pregnant and I wouldn’t drive like that. Well, he checked on my Drivers License and vehicle information and found everything checked out fine and came back and said please slow down and let me off with a warning.  The whole time I was praying, please Lord be my defender and don’t let me get a ticket.  Well, thankfully and to God, i didn’t get that ticket!  Crazy!!

Heather and I were greeted by our students upon arrival with hugs and much love. We were smiling ear to ear and very happy to be there.  Saturday was full of fun. We played volleyball,basketball and swam.  We heard some great preaching and powerful music by one of my favorite Christian artists Robbie Seay Band!  The scriptures that were focused on were from Mark 1, 2 & 3. 

After the long day and dinner and another sermon, we broke up into groups and I was alone with 6 of my 10th grade boys discussing the weekend and what had affected us and it’s impact.  I always try to make the Gospel relevant to them and real.  One of my boys, as I asked him about the weekend and what kind of impact it had on him, started crying.  I knew God was working on his heart.  I spent the discussion time talking about Jesus and what this weekend means and the students poured their heart out too.  Afterwards, I spent some one on one time with this one student.  Little did I know, God was working on his heart big time.  We talked about salvation and where he was and he said he hadn’t accepted Christ yet.  We talked some more and I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen that night. But finally, after much conversation, he said he was ready and I was blessed to lead him in the salvation prayer.  Praise God!!  The angels in heaven were singing!!

Sunday was fun and we closed the weekend out mid-day.  We drove him and I crashed. Physically and Spiritually exhausted.

Looking back now, I realized that the devil was trying to keep me down, but God said NO and had a bigger plan and that was using me to bring another life to accept Jesus.  How Awesome!! What an honor it is to be able to bring another soul to Christ.  I am truly honored to be able to have done this.

Thank you Lord for the opportunity to share your love with others and to rejoice over a lost soul that is now found. Amen!

January 7, 2010

Jesus

I want to say a quick thing about this person known to the world as Jesus.  You must believe ONLY 2 things about who He says He is.  He is either a fool/crazy man/sick in the head, to say and make the claims He did about himself OR you believe in who He says He is, Son of God, The Messiah, The Way, Truth & Life.  He didn’t leave you any other option but to believe either.  His claims of  “I and the Father are one” and “If you know/seen me you will know/see the Father too,” and on and on throughout the New Testament.

In a world that thinks, “Oh Jesus was a good guy or a disciple or a messenger of God,” there is NO WAY you can say those things about Him.  He is who He says He is or He is a psycho.  It’s your choice to believe one or the other, but outside of those 2 options, He didn’t leave you with any other choice.

I hope you will get to know this man or as I call Him, My Lord and Savior Jesus.  My King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Blessed be the name of Jesus Christ always and forever, Amen!

read my posts on Salvation if you want to know about this man Jesus.

November 30, 2009

CHRISTmas

*Twas the month before Christmas*

*When all through our land,*

*Not a Christian was praying*

*Nor taking a stand.*

*See the PC Police had taken away,*

*The reason for Christmas – no one could say.*

*The children were told by their schools not to sing,*

*About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*

*It might hurt people’s feelings, the teachers would say*

* December 25th is just a ‘ Holiday ‘.*

*Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit*

*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*

*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*

*Something was changing, something quite odd! *

*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*

*In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.*

*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*

* At Lowe’s the word Christmas – was nowhere to be found.*

*At K-Mart and Staples and Penny’s and Sears*

*You won’t hear the word Christmas; it won’t touch your ears.*

*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*

*Are words that were used to intimidate me.*

*Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen*

*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !*

*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*

*To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.*

*And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith*

* Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*

*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded*

*The reason for the season, stopped before it started.*

*So as you celebrate ‘Winter Break’ under your ‘Dream Tree’*

*Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.*

*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*

*Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS ,

Not Happy Holiday !*

Please, all Christians join together and

Wish everyone you meet

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

November 16, 2009

On the Rock

On the Rock do I stand firm…

On the Rock am I stable…

On the Rock I can do all things…

On the Rock do I have my faith…

On the Rock am I blessed in good measure…

On the Rock are all my needs provided for…

On the Rock do I put my hope & trust…

On the Rock of salvation…

On the Rock of my Abba Father!

 

November 3, 2009

Salvation

“No man cometh unto the Father, but by me”  John 14:6

Thank you Lord, that through your son Jesus, we have our salvation that is unwavering and permanent.  That our salvation is not built on man, earth or superstition, but built on your son Jesus and the ultimate price He paid for our lives, death on a cross.  Thank you that our salvation is built on your work and not on our own or anything we could ever do that could ‘buy’ us salvation.  It is a free gift from you that if we believe we will have eternal life.

Thank you Lord Jesus for our salvation that you gave us by making the ultimate sacrifice.  Amen.

September 21, 2009

all things a loss

“I count all things but loss for the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord”  Philippians 3:8

To know Jesus as YOUR Lord & Savior is as special as it gets.  To know that He has unconditional love for you is a complete feeling of contentment even as the world judges you.  To know that there is someone who loves you unconditionally without judgement and without ulterior motives is the best feeling and knowledge in the entire world.  A FREE gift for all who accept.  The best things in life are Free and so is the Gift of Salvation!!

To God be the Glory Forever!

August 27, 2009

Sharing the Gospel

Here is a great story on how this lady became a Christian, gathered from www.chron.com:

Blog Image

Conservative evangelical Christians blog on faith

Dr. Joe Parle, who invited me to participate in this Christ & Culture blog, suggested that I introduce myself more fully than his introduction a few weeks ago.  So here goes.

 I was born and raised in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was baptized and confirmed in the Congregational Church that our family faithfully attended.  Though the church had good moral teaching, I do not recall ever specifically hearing the good news that by believing in Jesus Christ we can receive eternal life through Him.  In other words, eternal life through Jesus Christ is a free gift to those who receive it.  At a minimum, if that was being taught, I wasn’t listening.

 I began attending the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York in the summer of 1981.  In my “sophomore” year (cadets call it “yearling” year), I became friends with a “senior” (“firstie”), Marge, who asked me if I was a Christian.  I thought this was a strange question, as I figured she probably knew I wasn’t Jewish, so I was obviously a Christian.  At the time I was thinking that if you were an American, you were either Christian or Jewish.  I was nineteen and obviously had a lot to learn.

 Over time I realized that Marge was different.  She called herself a Christian and told me that Jesus was her best friend.  I found that strange as well.  Marge encouraged me to read the Gospel of John, which I did.  In reading John, I understood for the first time that Jesus wasn’t merely a historical figure, but He is God.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. …  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”  (John 1:1 & 14).  I began to see that the Jesus that I was reading about in John was the Jesus that was best friends with my friend, Marge.  I also observed Marge’s extraordinary relationship with her “Christian” friends, and I experienced unconditional love from her and her friends in a way that I had never before experienced.  Marge also encouraged me to read Evidence That Demands a Verdict which was written by a lawyer who set out to disprove the claims of Jesus but who ended up believing the overwhelming evidence in support of Jesus and His claims.

 At some point that year, I realized that I wanted what Marge and her friends had– a personal, vibrant relationship with the Living God, and I believed in Him.  At that point, whenever it was, I became a Christian.  “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name….” (John 1:12).  Marge and John had made it clear to me that Jesus had paid the penalty for my sin by dying on the cross, and I merely needed to receive the free gift of eternal life that Jesus offered.

 Marge and many of her friends were involved in the ministry of The Navigators, whose motto is “To Know Christ and To Make Him Known.”  In my remaining two years at West Point, I was trained (discipled) by a couple of staff members of The Navigators as well as one of the USMA math professors who had also helped me to get to know Jesus personally.  They taught me how to walk with God and to teach others to do the same.  I learned right away that Christians are “Born to Reproduce.”

 After graduating from USMA, I plugged into Navigator ministries at my various U.S. Army duty stations, including Fort Sill, OK; vic. Frankfurt, Germany, Fort Knox, KY, and Fort Bliss, TX, where I served as an artillery officer.  While at Fort Bliss, I deployed with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment to Saudi Arabia and Iraq for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.  Shortly after returning to Fort Bliss, I married my wife of 18 years, Paula, who is a pediatrician.

 I left the Army in 1993 to attend Baylor University School of Law and graduated from there in 1995.  I then began practicing law in the Greater Houston Area primarily on behalf of insurance companies.  Gradually, I moved away from the dark side and began doing more and more plaintiff personal injury law.  I left the full time practice of law in 2007 and became Vice President & General Counsel of Grace School of Theology and Southeast Texas Regional Coordinator for NavFusion, a collegiate ministry of The Navigators, in 2008. Grace School of Theology (formerly “Houston Seminary”) opened in 2002, and I am a charter student, usually taking just one course per semester.  At my current pace, I may not earn a theological degree before Jesus comes back

 So much for me.

May 14, 2009

raptured

What does it mean to be raptured…watch this and you will see:

RAPTURED!

This blew me away!

May 12, 2009

bad situation, worse

In my cubicle today, I heard some folks making some noise and saying “He jumped, he jumped!”  I ran to where they were standing, looking out a window of our building, which happens to be on the 35th floor.  They said that a man was on a parking garage ledge about 10 stories up and decided to jump off.  I stood in shock and disbelief.  Why would someone do such a thing?   What would push someone to get to such a desperate place in life that they felt the only solution to their problem(s) was to jump off a high standing building?

I then started thinking about how selfish this guy was.  How so many people in the world want to live!!!  How so many people are sick and have diseases and cancers and the like.  How this man was probably in good health, but wasn’t coping well with his issues and decided to take his life, but decided suicide was the answer… WRONG!  That’s never the answer!

Then I thought about this man’s salvation.  Did he know Christ Jesus?  Had a Christian failed in not answering the call to share Christ with this person?  Could we have changed the course of his life if someone had just reached out and cared for him?  I don’t think I’ll ever know in this life time, but it’s very sad indeed.

“There is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”  – Romans 8:1