Something About Us

December 8, 2013
Something About Me…

Let me see…

How do you fill in a page like this?  What are the rules?  The etiquette?  The modus operandi?

Do you simply list the important things you may have done or said or written or eaten or visited or felt or… whatever, in a resume, bullet-point type of order?  Is that what people need to know to discover who you are and what kind of platform you have to speak from?  And, if so, how then do you list them?  Does your list move in chronological order from eternity past to the present, from the “foundation of the world” until last Tuesday?  Or do you maybe list them in the order of their importance?  But then, important to whom?  Who determines what is truly important and worthy of mention and what is just bland, boring, recycle bin fluff?  Do you, the reader on your side of the screen?  Or do I, the writer on this side?  Maybe it should be my wife or my family?  Possibly the neighbors across the street or the people I go to church with?

No, this seems too cold, too formal, and far too academic.

For the sake of brevity, I think I’m going to tell you a bit about me this way…

  • Christian – I affirm that Jesus is my Lord and Savior and the passion of my life.
  • Protestant - I affirm the five “solas” of the Reformation.
  • Reformed – I affirm the doctrines of grace and in the sovereignty of God.
  • Evangelical – I believe the Gospel (which is the original and truest meaning of “evangelical”) and I believe all of it.
  • Conservative – I tend to be traditional and restrained in my beliefs and cautious towards change, especially when it seems to be change merely for the sake of change.  Why?  Because I don’t particularly trust the organized church, our government, the media, or the culture in which we live.  Or you, for that matter.
  • Unfinished – Absolutely!  The Lord is still working on me to teach me, among other things, how great He is and how unfinished I am.  Seems I have to learn that lesson almost every day.  Sometimes twice.
Then, on a more personal level…

  • Married – I am married to my best friend and have been so for a little over 35 years.
  • Father – I am the father of five and the grandfather of eight and counting.
  • Pastor – I am the pastor of The Church Without Walls (www.thechurchwithoutwalls.org) in Gastonia, NC.  We are a church made up of people who love Jesus but have had less than a positive experience with church.  Oh, do you know some people like that?  I’m not surprised.  They seem to breed like kudzu.
  • Author – Finally, I am also the author of Love Jesus, Hate Church, which is a book that examines the senseless and hurtful experiences we often endure within our current church structure.  It is a book about emerging faith, absolute truths, and offers hope to those who have taken an honest look at the church, scratched their head, and said, “You know, this ain’t the way church is suppose to be.  Something must be wrong.  Bad wrong.”

What I Believe

“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth;
for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.”
John 4:23

The following is what I like to call my personal doctrinal statement. It is what I believe about the essentials and how that belief impacts my life. I guess you could call it my Creed. It is something that I believe with all my being, something I am passionate about, and something I will not compromise on.

I recognize that there is only one true and living God (Ex. 20:2-3) who exists as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and that He is worthy of all honor, praise and glory as the Creator, Sustainer, and Beginning and End of all things (Rev. 4:11; 5:9-10; Is. 43:1,7,21).

I recognize Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1,14).  I believe that He came to destroy the works of Satan (1 John 3:8), that He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public display of them, having triumphed over them (Col. 2:15).

I believe that God has proven His love for me because when I was still a sinner, Christ died for me (Rom. 5:8).  I believe that He delivered me from the domain of darkness and transferred me to His kingdom, and in Him I have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Col. 1:13-14).

I believe that I am now a child of God (1 John 3:1-3) and that I am seated with Christ in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:6).  I believe that I was saved by the grace of God through faith, that it was a gift and not the result of any works on my part (Eph. 2:8).

I choose to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might (Eph. 6:10).  I put no confidence in the flesh (Phil. 3:3) for the weapons of warfare are not of the flesh (2 Cor. 10:4).  I put on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:10-20), and I resolve to stand firm in my faith and resist the evil one.

I believe that apart from Christ I can do nothing (John 15:5), so I declare myself dependent on Him.  I choose to abide in Christ in order to bear much fruit and glorify the Lord (John 15:8).  I announce to Satan that Jesus is my Lord (1 Cor. 12:3), and I reject any counterfeit gifts or works of Satan in my life.

I believe that the truth will set me free (John 8:32) and that walking in the light is the only path of fellowship (1 John 1:7).  Therefore, I stand against Satan’s deception by taking every thought captive in obedience to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).  I declare that the Bible is the only authoritative standard (2 Tim. 3:15-16).  I choose to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15).

I choose to present my body as an instrument of righteousness, a living and holy sacrifice, and I renew my mind in the living Word of God in order that I may prove that the will of God is good, acceptable and perfect (Rom. 6:13; 12:1-2).  I put off the old self with its evil practices and put on the new self (Col. 3:9-10), and I declare myself to be a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).

I ask my heavenly Father to fill me with Your Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18), lead me into all truth (John 16:13), and empower my life that I may live above sin and not carry out the desire of the flesh (Gal. 5:16).  I crucify the flesh (Gal. 5:24) and choose to walk by the Spirit.

I renounce all selfish goals and choose the ultimate goal of love (1 Tim. 1:5).  I choose to obey the two greatest commandments, to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, and mind, and to love my neighbor as myself (Matt. 22:37-39).

I believe that Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18) and that He is the head over all rule and authority (Col. 2:10).  I believe that Satan and his demons are subject to me in Christ since I am a member of Christ’s body (Eph. 1:19-23).  Therefore, I obey the command to submit to God and to resist the devil (Jas. 4:7), and I command Satan in the name of Christ to leave my presence.


Note: For a more detailed Doctrinal Statement, see www.thechurchwithoutwalls.org
*From Neil Anderson’s – Steps to Freedom in Christ