In light of some recent conversations I’ve had, I thought I’d take the time to share with you what I believe. Here is our church statement of faith, where you can find where I stand on many of the most important tenets of the faith.
I write this because I appreciate the men that have called me and had the guts to ask me what I believe. I really appreciate that. It shows their care and concern for me and the church I lead.
Here’s what I find interesting: the people who are questioning my beliefs are doing so without any direct conversation from me. They are taking shots based on my reading list and a message I gave at a Pastor’s conference this year.
Let’s talk about both. First, my reading list is stuff that I’ve been reading because I want to. I enjoy reading things by people that hold to a different view than I do. Some people only like to read books by people they agree with. I don’t like to be simply spoon fed, so I read things that are outside the box in some circles (a geometric pun). This doesn’t mean I agree with everything they write, it only means I have read it.
Case in point, I enjoy reading Brian McLaren’s books. I think he is a brilliant writer that grabs your attention and he challenges me whenever I read him. This doesn’t mean that I agree with everything Brian says. In fact, I disagree with a great deal of it. Only my wife knows how many times I throw my copy of A New Kind of Christian across the room while reading it. But it challenged me to reexamine my beliefs and for that I say thank you to Brian. I didn’t change my position on the Bible, Jesus being the only way, or hell being a real place. But I enjoy hearing another view. If you don’t, then go read this. It’s a great book. I read it in Bible College.
Secondly, I taught at a Calvary Chapel Pastor’s conference this year on the subject of the Emerging church. I was asked to speak on this subject. I explained how this is such a broad group, ranging from the conservative to the liberal. Then instead of bashing the group entirely, I shared 5 things that I believed emerging churches were doing well to reach young people in a postmodern culture. My Pastor took some heat for allowing me to speak on this subject and while he said he enjoyed the message, others were upset that I didn’t demonize the emerging church entirely. I didn’t see the point in that. Why not focus on what we can learn? As Pastors, we should be mature enough to readily see what we disagree with. So why not look for something helpful?
Let me say it as clearly as I can, I am not Pastoring an emerging church. I DO NOT consider myself part of Emergent. If anything, I am guilty of reading books not on the recommended reading list and for finding good in another movement in the church and not simply bashing the areas where they disagree with me.
What amazes me is that most people aren’t courageous enough to call me. Probably because they haven’t taken the time to read and research for themselves. Instead, they’re leaning on someone else’s opinion because they’ve never formed one themselves. Perhaps the words of Jesus apply to you: “Go and learn…”
Have a nice day!