And yet I keep taking small steps.
My name is David. I’m 43 years old and currently reside in a small town in the Upstate of South Carolina, just outside of Charlotte, NC.
A brief synopsis of my journey. On my 16th birthday I received a Bible from my Russian grandmother. I told her that “I would never read it” but one day sometime in my later teens and early twenties I did read it. I wasn’t raised in any church but became interested in End of the World type stuff and heard that the Bible had a book called Revelation in it. So I dusted off the Bible and attempted to read Revelations. Well as you can imagine, scrolls, churches, The Lamb, bowls, Angels, it didn’t make much sense. As clearly as I’m writing to you, in my thoughts I heard, “If you want to understand the end, you must understand the beginning”. So I flipped over to Genesis and started reading. I think somewhere around Numbers I got bogged down and decided to slip ahead to the New Testament where I encountered Jesus. I was BLOWN AWAY!! I had thought that the Bible was full of fortune cookie like sayings. But instead I encountered Jesus, the Son of God, who loved me and was laying his life down for me.
So I started attending an Evangelical Free church where I met my wife and for the last 20 years now we have been in various churches mostly nondenominational churches. Charismatic ones at first but lately I’ve stayed away from that. Along the way I’ve been an elder, worship leader at various churches and church plants. I was ordained at one church and was the associate pastor. That didn’t end well and we ended up broke and had to start all over again. That was all up in Connecticut. I’ve been in the Carolina’s now for 6 years.
So why am I here? Not sure. I guess it comes down to worship. We currently attend a non-denom church that’s loosely affiliated with the Southern Baptist’s. There’s no reverence. There’s no awe. There’s no meeting with God! There’s no beauty. We meet in this warehouse like building. Tomorrow morning I will be up on the “platform” playing electric guitar on 5 songs with zero theological content. We have a light show and hey a smoke machine!!! I really can’t take it much more. I won’t attend a charismatic church any longer. I’ve seen way too many believers get wrecked over some untested prophetic words and too much weirdness explained away as the Holy Spirit. This article really rings true. http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles-2009/Wison-Narcissism-Goes-To-Church.php
My wife just called wanting to know why an “Ancient Faith Radio” mug was came in the mail. Uh Oh!
We used to go to the Greek Festivals at the Greek Orthodox Church when we lived in CT and were struck by the sense of awe and reverence in the church. So that is drawing me.
I also just go done reading Luther’s biography, Here I stand which was very interesting. I love history so I decided to do a little more reading on the early church and have discovered some things that conflicted with my presumptions. I always thought that the early church was like a pot-luck home group meeting and all that ritual was introduced by the catholics. WRONG! They also didn’t think they were just having some symbolic bread and wine when having communion. That was a surprise! So I’m reading and find it all rather interesting.
I do not really want to drive an hour to church so that’s an issue. Plus it would be major church culture shock for my kids. This little journey has been mine. I’ve shared a little bit with my wife but she is not where I am. I was telling her the other day that I wondered why churches don’t point back to the Nicene Creed for their statement’s of faith. I received the usual protestant, evangelical response “Why would we need that, we have the Bible.” That’s typical a typical response I’m getting when I mention some of these discoveries to people. I tell them the same people who decided the Books we have in the Bible came up with these Creeds! You would have thought that St. Paul was passing out complete New Testaments to his converts!! I have the usual issues with Mary. Sorry! That will take some time and further study to overcome if I can
So that’s a little of where I am. Not sure where I’ll end up. We are considering changing to a PCA Presbyterian Church that’s near by, so I’m also reading Reform stuff. I came across a statement last night about basing the church on the scripture. It seems almost backward to me now. This PCA church confesses creeds and scripture during their worship services. I like that. I don’t believe all of Calvinism so I would have issues to work through there as well.