I Was Once a Part of an Evangelical Church (And why I am no longer)

I grew up in what would be considered as an evangelical church by men’s reasoning.  We attended as often as the doors were opened.  At age 12 I prayed what they called the “Sinner’s Prayer” and I was convinced I was “saved” at that point.  I then was baptized many months later when they had a number of others ready for baptism.  I was baptized into the evangelical congregation as a “sign of my salvation”.  I was completely pleased with my spiritual life for several years.  However that changed. In 1978 I met a nice young lady whom I wanted to get to know better.  (As a side note we married 1 year later and I have been blessed by her these past 32 years.)  I was plainly told by her parents that IF I wanted to be with her on Sundays I had to attend church assemblies, for that was where she would be.  I wanted to be with her, so I attended the assemblies of the Pond Creek church of Christ.  At first I was more concerned with her than I was with the church.

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Christian Worship

The impulse to discover and worship something greater than ourselves is embedded in the human nature.  It’s apparent in this psalm that King David was inclined in this way, and so also is the rest of the human race.  Essentially every culture of every age has had at its core some kind of religious tradition whereby they venerate the supernatural powers of the universe.  These religious rituals are all very different and the objects of their worship hardly ever the same, yet there is undeniably a common compulsion to seek and serve the supernal.

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The Apostle Paul

The Apostle Paul has always been a controversial figure. The first time we encounter him in the book of Acts he is holding the cloaks of those who are stoning Steven. (Acts 7:58) Soon after we read that he is actively persecuting the Church. (Acts 8:3) But, after his conversion he becomes the most prolific of the New Testament writers. As a result, some question his apostleship.

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The Work of the Church

I recently read a billboard advertising a local church.  Of all the things they might have mentioned this is what the sign said: “Where will you find a church that… 1) Welcomes homosexual couples, 2) Invites questions, 3) Acknowledges many paths to God, and 4) Seeks social justice…” The name and address of a local congregation offering these “opportunities” was provided at the bottom of the billboard. For some, like myself, this kind of activity in a “Christian”congregation is unsettling; for others, it’s a sign of progress and a breath of fresh air.  I like a congregation that invites questions, but a church that legitimizes homosexuality and accepts many paths to God I’m afraid is wandering away from the Word of God.

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Concerning the Collection for the Saints

One of the very first commands God gave man was to give. Cain and Abel were asked to give a sacrifice to God, appropriate to His will. God, explaining to Cain why his offering was not acceptable, states in Genesis 4:7,

If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.

Giving an offering to God was not just a matter of convenience or the “thing to do,” giving was a serious action with serious consequences. If the giving was unacceptable, God explains, “sin lies at the door.”

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