Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Whole New World

Can't you just hear Peabo Bryson now? I was at a baptism where my church baptized a lot of people this past Sunday, and I thought and worried about new believers in this day of the church. I can't help transporting my culture to this new place, but I of course grew up in the Bible belt and living in more than just a cultural Christianity, I grew up in the church. Mom was the choir director and Dad was a deacon and sang in the choir. I grew up in Sunday School, watching Billy Graham films about the end of times, and hearing hellfire and brimstone sermons occasionally. I heard all the Bible stories and learned about quiet times and Scripture memorization and was grown in the faith by my mom and youth camps my entire life. And for all the youth that turn their backs on the church when they leave home, I was one of the success stories.
Which brings me back to why I was worried for people that are being baptized right now. Increasingly people are completely unchurched for their entire lives. No one has ever taken them to church. I would like to be one of their older and wiser Christian friends that helps them navigate the minefield that I went through when it was much safer. I mean, I was seven. How difficult could the world have been then? They are in their early 20s or older.
I may not be all that old, in years anyway, but I hope someone might need my wisdom. I'll be praying.
And I'll continue to influence the only one whose life I have any control over-Celia Grace. I read or heard all Christians used to live together in New Testament days. Now that would've been a church...


  1. I didn't grow up in church. I had hardly ever heard a sermon, except on TV, before Christ called me to Himself. After I had fallen in love with Jesus and carried a Gideon New Testament in my back pocket everywhere I went, it still didn't dawn on me that I was suppose to go to church.

    The church provided me a sense of significance when I joined at age 14. It also provided me great male role models. The main thing it provided was an expository preacher, Steve Johnson.

    But "the church" also blinded me and put a yoke upon me that Jesus never wanted me to bear.

    God used the church to pull me back when I was forsaken by those I loved the most. When I was dreadfully disappointed in people, God used a small church and a few friends like you to keep me tethered to the dock, "lest [I} drift away."

    I am still not sure what the church means or should mean to me. I have a theological definition of the universal church and the local church, but I don't believe church is church. It has nothing to do with styles. I think all styles are hogwash and nothing close to what God wills.

    I don't worry about those who are being baptized like you do. God will cause his children to stand (Romans 13 or something).

    You really need to read "Reformation In Foreign Missions" by Bob Finley. You can get it free at christianaid.com

    He has a lot to say in that book that applies to the church as a whole. GET IT!

  2. If you don't worry about new believers in today's times, you should have a look at the one verse you quoted in light of Bible interpretation. Greg Koukl on str.org has a booklet called Never Read Another Bible Verse. I think to say they'll find it on their own negates the need for apologetics, something I believe very strongly in.

  3. I'm so grateful Jody these new Christians that I care so much about have someone as encouraging as you in their midst. You encouraged my heart, and I know you can do the same for these brand new believers.

  4. and Alison, I will always remember that you're one of the reasons they're there. you are missed, and things are hoppin there.