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I recently attended a Women’s Conference and heard the Woman’s Minister say the following line, “Make your messes into your ministry and turn your pain into your passion.” And inside my heart, I knew that no truer statement could have been said about my life thus far. You see, about three years ago, my husband and I were attending a local church when our eldest son expressed his desire to be baptized. We were thrilled of course about his decision, so we phoned the youth pastor to tell him that our son wanted to be baptized the following Sunday. A few days later, we found ourselves sitting on our sofa, in our own living room, being quizzed and confronted with our beliefs.

You see, the youth pastor had printed off our beliefs from a website and basically came to inform us that because we did not believe that Jesus is God, that he could not and would not baptize our son. In fact, he wouldn’t allow anyone else in the church or my husband to baptize him either. This was shocking to me, because when they (at this particular church) baptized people, they basically asked the person, “Do you accept Jesus as your lord and savior?” and the person would answer yes, and then be baptized. The church’s creed was “no creed but Christ.” I had mistakenly believed that if we, too, believed that Jesus is the Son of God, and that Jesus was our lord and savior, we would be accepted into their church fellowship as well. I was wrong. In fact, most churches, if you begin looking into their doctrines and creeds deeply enough (because usually they don’t explain this or want to talk about it up front with new people), really believe and want you to believe also, that Jesus is God. They believe that Jesus is very, fully, completely God who left heaven to come down and be born in a human’s body, to die, be resurrected from the dead by another person in God, and then go back to being God when he ascended into heaven. It’s called…the trinity. Maybe you’ve heard of it. Maybe you have just accepted it and never questioned it. Most people, when I tell them that I believe Jesus is the SON of God, not God, they all nod and agree with me, and say, “Yes, that’s what I believe, too!” But, I am guessing, that is not what your church leadership believes. This may sound more like I am writing an expose! Week after week, people sit in their pews at church and never think twice, when they hear their preacher or worship leader pray to or talk about “God, the Son,” …when Scripturally speaking, it is “the Son of God.” My friend, there is a big difference in this simple tiny twist of terminology. Perhaps this will be your “aha!” moment. 

So where did this pain of being ostracized from a local church leave us? My husband and I have not taken our beliefs lightly. In fact, we have studied, researched, and questioned what we believe and what others believe, searching for Scriptural truth. We haven’t stopped studying and searching for truth. In fact, I don’t think we should EVER stop studying and searching our Bibles for truth, understanding and knowledge!  Tony and I have come to the conclusion, based on reading our Bibles, that Jesus is exactly who he claimed to be: the SON of God. The Christ. The Lord Messiah.   I Timothy 2:5 says it clearly, “there is only one God, and also one mediator between God and men, the MAN Christ Jesus.”

We believe it when the Bible tells us that Jesus was uniquely born in the womb of Mary, by the Spirit of God impregnating Mary supernaturally (Luke 1). (Jesus thus had a beginning, a day he was born and began to exist.)  We believe it when the Bible tells us that by a man, Jesus, came the resurrection of the dead. (I Corinthians 15:21). We believe it when the Bible tells us that God raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 4:24), and that God then exalted Jesus above every other name and authority (Ephesians 1:20-23; Revelation 5:12), and that he is King of Kings and will judge the earth (Revelation 17:14). We believe that Jesus is the Lamb of God, the one-time sacrifice for our sins, and through his blood, we are redeemed and worthy to inherit eternal life in the coming Kingdom of God. To be both the Lamb of God, and God, is such a contradiction. To be a “God-man”, to be tempted, to die, to be a 100% man, and yet at the same time, be our all-knowing, eternal, immortal, always present God…it gets very confusing…(trinitarians call it having a “dual-nature”, a term that is blatantly missing from the Bible).. but, yet that is what most churches seriously want all of us to believe and not to question, but to just accept by faith, because who are we to understand the mystery of Christ? When actually, they are asking us to accept by faith, a mystery of the doctrine of the trinity…which cannot be found in our Bibles.

It was very painful to basically be rejected from a church family that we had grown to really love. We left quietly, without causing strife, and not sharing with people what had happened to us. Instead, about a year later, we felt God stirring our hearts, to start a body of Christ here, in our local community. We felt the simple truth about who God and His SON, Jesus, are, is worth telling people about. We believe truth matters to God. Not tradition; not what the majority of church leaders are trying to continue to teach; not creeds that men devised back in 325 A.D….but, that Christ is enough. That we do not have to be ashamed of who Jesus is and the fact that he was a uniquely begotten/created man who was obedient to His Heavenly Father, to the point of death, so that we might have the hope of eternal life. It doesn’t undermine who Jesus is, but exalts him, as the only man who has been made immortal at his resurrection, to never die again, who will one day establish his Father’s Kingdom on earth, to reign and rule for eternity. He is our priest. Our mediator. Our savior. God has sent Jesus and saved us through him. God has redeemed us through Christ. God has given us a hope in Jesus. God will restore all things and give us a new heavens and a new earth, and of this new creation, Jesus is the first-born! He is the first to have been risen from the dead, the first fruits. We will follow after him, when one day, Jesus returns in the clouds and we hear the trumpet sound, and we are changed, from mortal to immortal. From having perishable bodies, to imperishable ones. Hallelujah!

So, from the pain of rejection from a local church and the mess of not bowing down to popular opinions, but basing our beliefs on Christ and the Scriptures alone…we have made our mess into our ministry. We have made our pain into our passion. We have a ministry built solely on Christ alone. We have a passion built around who Jesus is and what his purpose and passion was, found in Luke 4:43…preaching the kingdom of God, so others might turn from their sins, repent, believe in Jesus & the good news about the kingdom and be saved! In this ministry, in this passion, our family has found our voice. We are no longer silent. We are not ashamed. Instead, we are confident and bold in proclaiming Christ and the resurrection of the dead to obtain eternal life in the kingdom to come! Come, Lord Jesus, come!

12 Responses to “Make Your Messes into Your Ministry”

  1. on 02 Oct 2009 at 8:53 amSean

    Preach it sister. Thanks for this story. Our ministry has recently received notice from a conference location (that we have regularly attended for years) stating that they have just discovered we do not believe in the Trinity and therefore we are not welcome to hold our events there anymore. These are people we have shared so much love with over the years and it sure stings to be snubbed like that. At least they are not burning us at the stake anymore. It’s so strange that a doctrine as overtly unbiblical and confusing as the Trinity would be the litmus test for Christian fellowship, as opposed to the various clear teachings of our Lord (love, humility, etc.)

  2. on 02 Oct 2009 at 2:11 pmKen

    The title of this article, pointing to the way God opens doors despite adversity, reminds of the simple truth in Romans that is exemplified in numerous records of God’s people suffering for doing what is right: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (ch. 8, v. 28)
    This story (of Angela and her family) is such an awesome example of “turning one’s pain into one’s passion.” Despite the sadness and hurtful attacks that come from blind traditional adherence to unbiblical standards, God opens doors for those of us who humbly endeavor to believe and obey the Scriptures.

  3. on 03 Oct 2009 at 10:39 amFrank D

    Simply looking for a place to serve, my family is attending a church that has a trinitarian statement of faith. We have gotten more involved and started attending one of their classes. In the student guide there was a discussion about Jesus being god. No verses, no quotes, just a statement taken as fact. I made an appointment with one of the pastors and we talked. I was actually surprised. He told me no one has ever questioned the trinity before. He never studied the subject in seminary. He was told it was true, so he accepted it. We talked about salvation and he agreed he sees no where in the Bible that belief in the trinity is required. A day later he contacted me asking for another meeting so we could start going into it in detail. Study together. He was curious. I sent him an explination of why Jesus died and how God cannot die. Over 30 verses talking about our savior’s death. I thought it was a good place to start. We have another meeting scheduled soon. Please pray I am able to effectively communicate the truth in God’s word and Dan can see the truth before his eyes.

  4. on 04 Oct 2009 at 9:05 amAngela

    I wonder how many stories there are similar to our family’s, where people have been ostracized from a church fellowship, removed from a radio or television station, or their books were removed from bookshelves in Christian bookstores. I know when author, Gwen Shamblin came out publicly, to state that she had studied her Bible and decided to believe the Biblical unitarian belief that Jesus is the Son of God, not God, her very popular diet book, “The Weigh Down Diet” program, was dropped by churches all across the country. Suddenly, churches wanted nothing to do with her.

    I love the internet for this very reason — that we can no longer be silenced and isolated from one another; that via the web, we find out that there are many, many others who have read and studied their Bibles and who have also concluded that there is no basis for the belief of the trinity doctrine anywhere in their Bibles!

    The internet also provides us with so much information at our fingertips! My belief is the web will do for further reformation of the church, maybe more so than what the mass printing of the Bible did for the people at different points in our history. Once we are able to read and study for ourselves, the truth becomes plain and evident, and by knowing that there are others out there also on a quest for the truth, we are encouraged and are no longer alone in our belief that our God is one.

  5. on 04 Oct 2009 at 9:56 amXavier

    Check out my Australian persecution story Angela:

    http://kingdomready.org/blog/2009/01/10/christian-persecution-in-australia/

  6. on 04 Oct 2009 at 4:19 pmRay

    Acts 8:37
    And Philip said, if thou believe with all thine heart, thou mayest.
    And he answered and said, ……

    Can you imagine Philip saying something like, ..”Well here are
    the beliefs are of our church, and ahhh, well, you have to believe
    that Jesus is God or ahh, we won’t ahh, ..”

    See, when Philip heard the man confess Jesus as the Christ and as the Son of God, Philip stopped the chariot, and went to the water,
    both he and the eunuch!

    Now that’s a man of God.

    The Church needs more men of God like Philip who will stop their
    chariots at the word of God and do the service of God instead of their own agenda.

    I would like to talk with that pastor on this blog. I wonder if he would come with an invitation.

    Acts 8:29
    Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this
    chariot.

    Now, if what this man was pondering in his heart and began to come out of his mouth in faith was good enough for the Spirit of
    God to join in on, why shouldn’t it be good enough for that church
    pastor?

    Acts 8:32
    The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:

    I can’t find anything in Isaiah 53 that says Jesus is God. In fact, it
    looks to me like Isaiah is saying that Jesus is the Son of God and the very Christ that he prophesied of that was to come, and indeed
    did come according to the word of God.

    I wonder if that pastor can find anything in Isaiah 53 that would support his church’s belief he made mention of. I don’t see it there.

    The good news is that this one spoken of in Isaiah 53 is Jesus and
    he did everything Isaiah said. God did in fact divide him with the great multitude and Jesus did divide the spoil with those strong in
    faith and will continue to do so because what he did at the cross is still good and will last for eternity. Jesus thereby gave us legal authority over the works of darkness and we can condemn every
    tongue that rises us against us in judgment when we stand on the truth that is in Jesus, and that righteousness is of God.

    So my guess is that he isn’t willing to come to this blog and find real salvation in the truth that will make him free, but I could be wrong. Sometimes people do amazing things through God.

    I have my beliefs about Jesus that may be different than some people but I don’t think it’s for me to require them to believe as I do before I could baptize them if they came to me for that service.

    I might tell them that I believe Jesus was with God from everlasting
    being the Son of God from eternity, dwelling in the Father, having glory with him in the heavenly realm long before coming into this world by being born of Mary the elect lady, and that he is as God is,
    being the word of God and all that is in that word that is of God, but I don’t think it would be my place to require anyone who believes in Jesus and confesses him as the word says, to believe as I do before I could baptize them if they came to me for that service.

    If such a one accepted me with my beliefs as one who is worthy of baptizing them, then I should do the service if I am called and ordained of God to do such service to the Church for God, even if they do not believe as I do about certain things.

    That’s what I believe. And if they wanted to be baptized in a certain manner that is acceptable with scripture I think I should do
    that too as it’s their baptism, whether it be in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus Christ, or whatever they want if they can show it to me from the Bible and are sincere.

    Acts 10:47
    Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

    I would like to ask that pastor if he is baptizing people in his own name or in the name of his particular church seeing how he would not do so if one did not believe as they claimed should be believed.

    What should be the requirements for baptism? I would hope that a young man would understand that he is turning over his eternal well-being into the hands of Jesus, who will then be the Lord over his soul and that it will have eternal value and consequences.

    I would hope that such a one would have some kind of understanding as to why the nails were driven into his hands, and
    the understanding of the need for repentance, for dying daily, for cleansing by the word, the need for daily bread from heaven, and such.

    I wonder what people mean when they say that Jesus is God. I would like to hear what that means to them if that is what they confess or say that they believe.

    I like metaphors. If Jesus claims to be the Lord God Almighty, then
    that is what he is, even though who he is, is Jesus, the Son of God.

  7. on 05 Oct 2009 at 7:57 pmRay

    Acts 10:46
    For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

    Instead of doing this, how about doing some kind of a skit or something of modern day ministry gone wrong.

    Then answered the minister, “You need to come to the new member’s meetings. Till you do, you may attend the services, but we do not let anyone minister unless they have had the new member’s class. Even after that, they must attend every service or they are not allowed to minister. They may pray when we pray, sing when we sing, but they can not minister in any way. (We’re not sure if this means they are allowed to greet people when we
    tell people to greet each other to keep them awake, or not.)
    They still should tithe if this is where they attend. We will look into
    this matter further at the next quarterly profits meeting. If they want to be baptized, they will need to pass the new member’s class doctrines as to who Jesus is, not what he is to you, but who
    his is by our doctrines as he is not a ‘what’ but a ‘who’, even though God is one ‘what’ but three ‘who’s’. Our sermon this Sunday will be on walking in liberty, and about leaven.”

  8. on 05 Oct 2009 at 8:07 pmRay

    Angela,
    How about having a website that invites people to share their experiences about how wrong things happen in churches, and find
    what should have happened instead, or find ways the scripture teaches us to deal with these situations.

    A site like that could ask questions such as, “What is it about church you are not happy about? (if anything) or “How important is it to have a brotherhood in Christ that will stand for what is right,
    go with another to plead their case, asking for mercy, etc?”

    I think such a thing could be used to help people. I believe there is
    a need for people to stand together. It’s difficult to stand alone against a system. There’s a lot of power given to the church by God, and even though the church is responsible for what they do with that power, that power can be misused and hurt those it was
    meant to free, heal, and restore.

  9. on 05 Oct 2009 at 8:18 pmXavier

    http://focusonthekingdom.blogspot.com/

  10. on 05 Oct 2009 at 8:59 pmSean

    Ray,

    Please do not post three comments in a row like that. This identified as inappropriate behavior #5. I have spoken to you about this several times in the past. Comments are meant for discussion not monologue.

  11. on 05 Oct 2009 at 9:37 pmXavier

    Welcome to the “Rome of unitarianism” folks! 😛

  12. on 30 Apr 2010 at 1:41 amXavier

    can a woman baptize?

  

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