Format Change coming. Christianity, examined.

It is my hope that 2012 has been great to everyone so far! It’s been great to us. As we’ve entered into the last tail end of this winter, I’m reminded again how much has changed for us in a year. It was about this time last year when we were getting ready to move to Indiana. Though 2011 hasn’t seen as quite of a whirlwind of change that 2010 saw in our adoption of Jackson, it is quite obvious our family has a lot of new blessings to look back on from this past year. We have a new home, a new church family and we are making some new friends as well. I tend to sometimes take things for granted, so it is nice to kind of sit back and reflect on things like this from time to time and realize how fortunate we have been. All of these things of course have been a blessing from God to which we owe all praise!

As my life has been nothing but ongoing changes throughout the last year, I’ve felt it’s come time again to revaluate the purpose of my blog. Though I’ve only been at this web address for part of the time, I have been blogging for nearly a decade. Throughout the years if you’ve been with me for that long you’ve watched how I grew into an adult after graduating high school and entering college, how I thought I would forever be cursed to single-hood, to being able to witness watching me grow in my faith alongside my wife Lindsey as we took a big step in following God’s will and adopting our first son. Since then we’ve had our move, as well as myself making the big change from the world of business to the world of a homemaker and kid chaser as a stay-at-home parent.

Though, I’ve found that I’m strayed a bit away from the reintroduction of my blog that I decided to tackle back in the summer of 2009, which was to shift this website into a more closer look at my Christian walk. I don’t find it coincidental that shortly after God laid it on my heart to start blogging about my faith that He laid it on our hearts towards adoption. If He hadn’t laid it on my heart to start writing and be comfortable with my faith in such a public way, I don’t believe we would have been able to share our adoption journey in such a clear and transparent way. With that said, I feel it is time to step things up a notch and continue in a slightly different but related direction. My walk in faith is now clear to me – and is ever growing. This is for certain. The Lord is radically involved in my life and is transforming my heart more each and every day. Though I am still weak and still a sinner, I feel closer each day that Christ-likeness is not just something I long for, but a true and reachable goal.

I need to be careful though and not forget that I am not perfect and I am just that – a growing Christian. I’ve only had a true saving relationship with Jesus for six years and I’m only just now becoming closer to reading and studying his entire Word. With that said, I realize that I have a lot to learn and am still learning, therefore I need to be careful not to preach. What I don’t want to start doing  is blog about each book in the Bible or try to tell you how to live a perfect Christian life. I  don’t know all of the answers yet, and I feel there are plenty of better resources out there that you should inquire, who are much better studied and disciplined than I am. There’s enough (good) places out there to find that kind of in-depth discipleship. Besides, if reading my posts are your full means of hearing about Christ I would strongly suggest you find a church home first and foremost. Preferably Specifically, a church that teaches that the Christian Bible is the sole authoritative Word of God. (More on that in another post!).

So although I don’t feel like I’m in any position to preach, the Bible is very clear that Jesus’s command for Christians is to spread the good news among all nations and to make disciples to all ends of the earth as, see in the gospels after Jesus’s Resurrection:

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28, ESV)

This is more commonly known to society as evangelizing. Granted, I wish I was better at doing it in person face to face and am trying to grow in that area, but one thing I do love is writing and I feel blogging here more often is good practice since I still seem to find an audience here. So what I’m thinking about starting is using this blog as an opportunity to really define my faith,what I believe and share my belief specifically with others. I am doing this partially for myself so that I can better meditate on and understand what I believe, but also for my friends and family out there who are on the fence about Christianity or who are atheists.

I feel it on my heart to do this because I look on Facebook or hear in conversations of so many construed misinformed realizations about what it is to be a Christian and what Christianity is as a whole. I strongly believe there are a lot of people out there who claim to be “Christians” who really aren’t. The sad reality is that the term “Christian” has been washed down so much in American society that it means very little now in today’s “believe in yourself” culture.  There are so many false preachers, false teachings, and mistaken views readily available out there for people to consume. I too was once one of these lost and had a worldly view of Christianity where if I just went to church and checked off boxes I would be rewarded Heaven for my due diligence.  But after questioning and opening my mind I thankfully realized that true salvation comes only from Jesus Christ and believing what he did on the cross for us – not a systematic checklist of church do’s and don’ts.

I worry of offending, but will pray diligently that the topics I bring up will get people to give Christianity a second thought and revaluate for themselves what a true Christian is.  I don’t have it completely set in stone how I will outline these topics, but I will start my first blog post on the subject by detailing “What I believe” – a set of posts (yes possibly more than one) of explicit detail of what my belief system is, so that it is very clear what I believe versus other types of denominations that are out there. Though this might be a bit boring, I feel it is important I set a ground work for what my faith is, if I am going to refute other systems.

The next set of posts will center on Why I believe, what I believe”. The point of this is to back up what I believe on Scripture alone. I will try in detail to back up my faith biblically so there is no misunderstanding of where I stand before verging on to other topics. Again, this all might be mundane, but this is also a great exercise for me to really focus on and understand my faith so I can hold even stronger confidence in it.

Thirdly, sometime after that is when I will venture out with the real fun. I’ll start discussing topics about my specific views of worldly issues  and other taboo type topics that I’ve seen come up in the last several years. At this point I will be very transparent about my views and might come across as offensive, but at that point my hope is that I would have made it ever so clear that my beliefs on these subjects are based solely on my faith of what I believe backed authoritatively by Scripture. My goal is not to prove you are wrong, but to make the bigger point that Scripture is right and that my stance on these issues have merit in them. As we get closer to these topics I will continue to pray that God will open your eyes as he has mine. I don’t want to give it all away but eventually I will be blogging about such touchy subjects like evolution, abortion, homosexuality, infant baptism and the like, just to a name a few. Whew, it’s gonna be fun! 😉

I pray you will be not quick to throw me under the bus and my thoughts aside. I will be open for conversation at any point in this and willing to give all of you freedom to express your own thoughts in the comments of my posts and will do my best to respect the opinions of others. I am not doing this for myself, but more for you the readers. Again, this will be a gradual format change and something I feel will probably take a good year or so to fully get under way. Therefore I look forward to all of the input good and bad. I have a lot of studying to do before I really get into the knitty gritty of subjects, so bare with me if my posts are spaced apart from time to time. I think interaction by you the readers will help encourage me to keep on top of this challenge.

So, that’s it. I look forward to diving deeper into these subjects in the near future!