As my own biographic writer, I seek to highlight my own growth focusing on a few key areas. As such, the following is a brief description of: my religious background, my Bible studies, my spiritual journey, along with my spiritual viewpoint, and my appeal to the Church of Christ.
My Religious Background
My religious experience is Christianity, my specific Christian heritage is Church of Christ. I was brought up in, trained within, and ministered for the Churches of Christ. As such, some of my theology is influenced from the Restoration Movement, like examining the First-Century Church.
My Biblical Studies
For my personal studies, and my personal experience in Christendom, I seek and hope to always seek coherent and consistent theology and discipleship. As such, I have spent the last several years searching for coherent and consistent answers. That search began, in earnest, with my attendance to a Church of Christ Bible School (2004-2006), and has continued thereafter with intense personal study. The result of these efforts is that my biblical study and application requires Complete Context.
My Bible research and studies incorporate things like: the Literary nature of the Bible; and the Historical and Cultural aspects of the Scriptures. After my extensive study of Complete Context, I am compelled to conclude that Covenant Theology, Continuation Theology and Olive Branch Theology help reveal a more complete intention of the Scriptures. Knowing this, I incorporate the field of apologeticsW to affirm Scriptural Truth.
As I investigate the Scriptures, I aim for having as much of the Complete Context as I can possibly get. This means, in some ways, my continual research and study, continually refine my Biblical understanding. This also means I am certain that Scriptural Truth, established through the study of Complete Context, proved to me that the Scriptures (both OT and NT) are thoroughly Hebrew, Israelite and Jewish. These realities shape my Biblical understanding, application and presentation.
My Spiritual Journey
By early 2010, those Bible studies had brought me to several conclusions. I then found myself at a crossroads. The conclusions simply seemed at odds with the accepted biblical interpretations found within my heritage. By December 2010, after several years of Pulpit Ministry, and with great difficulty, I stepped away from pulpit ministry.
During 2011, I simply rested from full-time ministry, spending time in prayer, fasting, and family rebuilding. Yet, I continued to visit several different styles of Christian Churches.
Because I want to truly find the Christianity described in the NT, I ask questions, and seek for what the NT teaches about the Church. Yet, in my experience (whether as a minister within my heritage, or as a visitor to other churches), I found things that seem out of place. I found my spirit and mind in conflict with one another.
In August 2011, I began visiting a Messianic Synagogue, essentially Jews who believe that Jesus (Yeshua) is the Promised Messiah. Since then, the NT has come alive in a whole new way. With greater clarity, I began to see the applications of the pages of the NT, and the struggles to reconcile Jew and Gentile believers in Christ (Messiah).
In January 2012, I began diligently working with Faith and Conviction. It is now June 2012, between my Bible studies and my nearly year-long association with Messianic Jews, I believe God has helped me see more of of these essential Bible elements. As such, I have decided to study the Hebrew Language, begin the journey toward my Messianic Bar Mitzvah, fully support the need for the Torah in the Church, and work to establish the one new man in Messiah.
My Spiritual Viewpoint
I trust the veracity of Biblical Truth; but, unfortunately, there is a problem. The problem: there is a significant difference between what the Bible means and what we believe the Bible means. While it is true that there is some latitude for interpretation, it seems improbable that each of the so many various religious interpretations are correct.
It is these different interpretations that give partial cause for incoherency, inconsistency, arguments and divisions among Christians and within Churches. This dilemma can be remedied, but only with graciousness and generous mercy for and toward each disciple and church. However, this dilemma is best remedied by spiritual guidance through the Holy Spirit conjoined with human humility seeking intellectual honesty.
I believe God works with everyone as he sees fit. As such, it is not my place to judge fellow disciples of Messiah Jesus either according to how they interpret the Bible, or how they practice their faith.
Knowing these things, I am not interested in promoting vestiges of biblical misunderstandings, nor do I feel required to keep every tradition. I am, however, interested in promoting greater Biblical understanding by seeking original intention of the revealed word by seeking Complete Context, and finding coherent and consistent theology.
My Appeal to the Church of Christ
For those readers who are from within the Church of Christ heritage, this information should be interpreted as an affirmation of the intention of the Restoration Plea “to go back to the Bible” and “understand the First-Century Church”. If the Church of Christ is to live up to its motto of seeking the First-Century church, then an unbiased investigation of the Hebrew and Jewish Culture that influenced the development of the First-Century Church is critical.
As such, in good conscience before God and man, and with complete disclosure, I am no longer convinced that the First-Century Church has been fully restored. This means, I accept that both Conservatives and Progressives have areas of proper interpretation; yet, I ask: is the Restoration Plea still a concern? I don’t feel like I left the Church of Christ, I feel like the Church of Christ left the plea.
I want to simply state that I continue seeking the First-Century Church. Thus, resolving the internal conflict among the Conservatives, the Progressives, and the other groups within the Churches of Christ is not my primary effort, there are plenty of servants making this their effort. My primary effort is to uphold the Restoration Plea: seek the First-Century Church – learn it, love it, live it.
Shalom and Blessings
Updated: June 16, 2012