Posted by: reformbama | September 3, 2017

Why Is This Southern Baptist In An AOG Church?

dust

Cough, cough, cough. I should have taken some Benadryl before knocking the dust from the blog.
I realize this post will go all over the place, it has been awhile. I started this blog because all I wrote was programs for PLCs. Wanted to communicate with humans some.
It slowly turned into this. I still can’t write.

Well, like the title said this Southern Baptist boy finds himself in a AOG church. I wonder how that happened. Some little whim of mine or God?

I put myself in, for lack of better description, church timeout for awhile. Miserable time that was.

I think I may have found a church. A little worried about it. A denominational jump.
I like to think of myself as a Christian first, Baptist second. I have been aligned with the Baptist ever since I learned the word doctrine. Our doctrine lines up with each other comfortably.

Let me give you some background, not in depth, on Bucket Head, that’s me.

I was saved at the age of 11. After all the celebrations and welcome to the family stuff, I was stuffed into a Sunday school class, and colored and colored. This was before Veggie Tales, thank the Lord, so we colored. Very little “teaching”. You may need to know I was on a 10th grade reading level in first grade, so the your standard kid bible bored me with the pictures. I lasted as long as I could. So, I dropped out for a time.
Eventually my prowess in softball got me into a Presbyterian church. Just kidding, that is where my brother started going after he got married. I did play softball there. The few classes I attended were ok, preaching was good. Drifted away from there.

During these times, I did read the Bible. Some TV pastors kinda of got my attention but I soon realized something was off. They could not be reading what I am reading. That is when I realized that not pastors were real.

Fast forward to where I met my wife. If not for her I probably would not be where I am spiritually if not for her. Love you Baby. That is a post for another day.

Unfortunately, church was not a constant thing.
However, God stuck some friends in our lives. Some of the best people you will ever know.
Had a seasoned Christian I worked with introduce to books. Books on Theology. I love books. Never knew they existed. Never made it that far into the bookstore. He introduced me to John MacArthur.
I did not like JM at first. I spent the better part of a year trying to prove him wrong. I. Learned. A. Ton.
Not long after that My wife had someone placed in her path. We willcall her and her family The Pack.
We started going to church with The Pack. I learned more and more.

We became extremely active in this church. They had so many members they had to go to three services. First hour we taught yutes. I rotated as master teacher for the yutes and then led a group of teen boys for 2-3 years. We then went to worship service then we went to our adult SS class. Where the Pack leader and I co-taught.
I leave a few things out between the time we started at Saddleback wannabe to where we were teaching adults.
Around this time I felt the call to ministry, got ordained, the whole 9 yards.
I got to hang with the big dogs at the church.
Did the seminary thing online for about 4 months. That is another story.
Learned the secret handshake. They met with me one on one. Happy, happy.

Then the leadership brought the Purpose Driven Life to church. Oh, did I mention that I have a discernment radar, mega watts huge. I used to love it. Now, not so much. More on this latter. Like the saying goes “Ignorance is bliss” sometimes.
Not five pages in and my radar is going nuts. I read some reviews of trusted teachers and voice my concerns with leadership. I found myself black balled to a small degree. The Pack leader and I had to teach it. Had to teach it to my yutes.
Not long after that the Pack leader was asked to plant a church nearby. So the good cop to my bad cop was gone. I did not last long after that. I just left that church. Keep in mind a whole lot of stuff happened there and in my life that I will tell you one day. Just not on a blog.

We tried a few churches. Everyone happy to have us until we joined.
More to come on this at another time.

The pack leader and I meet again. He is teaching at a little church that sits in the shadow of a mega church. A bunch of old friends are attending there. The pastor there is smart. Doctrinally sound!
Not a single twinge on my discernment radar!
But, after time we never felt like we fit in there.

We stopped going. That is when I put myself in church timeout. I read, listened to sermons online, etc. The whole time pastors I followed online were screaming STOP!
Was not doing the wife and family any good. Sorry.
Then one of my nephews came apart on us after serving his country. Tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He became addicted. We got his son. He got better and got his son back. PRAISE GOD!
That did not happen overnight. Wish I could say it was easy.
That is where the AOG church comes in.
Da nephew was sent to celebrate recovery at this church. God used this church and the people in it to reach my nephew. Soli Deo Gloria.

He asked us to come visit. I RELUCTANTLY went. I have had issues in the past with the quotes on their outdoor sign at times. I may have blogged about it in back in the day.
(Easy now)
Walk in shake hands with the pastor. Seems nice. Service starts. I make sure my radar is on.
Songs were sung. Doctrinally sound ones. Then in the middle of worship one of pet peeves are stepped on. The stopping of worship for the meet and greet. Then the sermon. No radar blips. No Finney style altar call.

Time passes, nephew meets great girl, nephew proposes, she says yes.
The church has a bachelor day planned for the nephew. Breakfast at the church and then on to a member’s house to shoot guns. Had a great time. I got to know some of the guys mainly outside of church before knowing them in church. They are as real in the church and out of the church.
We attend the nephews wedding. We start going to church there.
Church is done a little different there.
There is only one paid staffer there and it is the book keeper. They don’t go title crazy.
They do have a leadership structure. If you want to know more, come visit.
I eventually find out that they are an AOG church. You could have fooled me.
I thought all the hand raising and clapping was from the copious amount of coffee they drink before service. Remember I am a Southern Baptist.

I have a one on one with the pastor. It goes great. He said he would not black ball me if I disagree with him. I told him I could be an irritant. He was good with that.

Go to church there a few more times. He steps on a few more of my pet peeves. (We will talk later) 🙂
I don’t care. He is solid where it counts.
He dis sneak in a Calvin quote for me in one service. That almost makes up for it. 🙂

Set up another one on one meet with the pastor again, love this guy, and he asks if he could bring someone else along. I say “So you are going to gang up on this Ol’ SB guy?” His response “We may be more Baptist than you think”.
I hope to have more one on ones with him.
Had another good meet. I think I am hooked.

 
This is a healing church. They are more focused on the community they are in than some other country.
They show more care for their members than I have seen in other churches in sometime.
Outstanding staff at this church.

I went through a time of hardly reading anything, save for intermittently reading the Bible.
Thanks to this church and God, that’s over I am again reading 2 to 3 books at a time again.

Plus, I am getting that itch to teach again.

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Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing! I appreciate anyone who loves to read good books and likes to think for himself. Unity and conformity are different things altogether. I look forward to hearing about some of the other pet peeves.

    • You just outed yourself. 🙂
      I don’t care so much about them about them anymore. They are tiny peeves.


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