Pursuit of Truth

I had to ask myself why I'm so invested in this pursuit of truth (regarding Charismatic/Pentecostal beliefs vs. Fundamentalist beliefs). So I did. Here is the answer:

“Church Hurt” – I am not coming against Charismatic/Pentecostal tenets because of any unsettled beef I have with that wing of Christianity. While I believe I was misinformed, I do not consider my experience as one of intentional deception. I never suffered any mental, emotional, or physical harm under the leadership of any Charismatic/Pentecostal church. I sympathize for those who have endured various degrees of “church hurt” but that is not the angle I am taking with any of my argumentation. Every relationship I’ve gained during those stints has been extremely fruitful in countless ways. I hope that never gets lost or misconstrued in any development I make in my theology or spiritual maturity. It’s all love, always. My pursuit of sound doctrine is to be helpful in whatever is next with my Charismatic/Pentecostal family.

Race Relations – My time in academia has revealed that the divide between white Christians and black Christians is greater than what appears. Overall, race relations amongst Christians have progressed since MLK’s “most segregated hour” evaluation. However, in-depth analyses indicate that the more determined lines in Christianity are between Charismatics and Fundamentalists. While that is not a race-based separation, the separation has become racialized as most blacks are Charismatic and most Fundamentalists are white — creating a gap that has been characterized (and masked) by ethnic cultural differences when it is, in fact, theological. My pursuit of scriptural clarity is to reconcile the dissonance from useless ethnic divisions in the body of Christ.

In Spirit, In Truth – The disposition of the human soul is to worship. There are many ways to tap into the spiritual realm to perform such a duty. However, the God of the Holy Bible has specific ways in which He accepts worship. I believe it is improper, illegal, and unsafe to worship God according to our own will. Often, this evolves into an esoteric emotionalism that trumps the order of true worship. I believe that our lean towards “in spirit” has caused us to fall away from “in truth”. My pursuit of righteous doxology is to anchor us (in both spirit and truth) so that we may stand upright in the knowledge of God.

Great Commission - One of the most pressing concerns in this pursuit of truth is the understanding of spiritual gifts (cessation vs. continuation) and how it affects evangelism. At the end of the day, someone is doing it completely and dangerously wrong — incubating a spirit of confusion amongst believers and potential believers. The longer we postpone a pursuit of truth in these spiritual ordeals, the more we risk affirming the false conversions of countless souls. There is no consideration greater than this. My pursuit of biblical soteriology is to submit to God’s methodology for the most important work we have been charged to conduct.

To the Community – I freely admit that I believe we, black Americans, have been gifted gold doré. I believe that includes our indoctrination into political affiliations, cultural appreciations, and religious assimilations. We “root for everybody black” as though that is an honorable principle. My primary concern with this ministry is how that mindset has caused us to devalue God’s authority in our lives. Due to our ethnic imperative, we have compromised our view of scriptural integrity. Black Christians tend to focus more on experience than Bible exposition. We measure the effectiveness of a ministry based on how we feel instead of what God said. That’s what we were taught to do. We don’t really know what we believe. We don’t know what the Bible is about, we don’t know what it says, we don’t know how to use it, we don’t know what it means. We aren’t disciples of Christ. We were Christianized, not catechized. While, in essence, that is not the worst of the options, it is neither good enough.

It is our intellectual responsibility to process the gold we have been gifted. Otherwise, we stand the risk of being perilously misled and misinformed. My goal is to live in and welcome all to the refinery.

There is nothing cute or cool about this fire. I understand the risks associated with taking residence in the forge. But I fear the danger of offending God more than I fear the consequences of offending any man.  

To the Village – My goal is not to prove that I am right; or that you are wrong. My goal is to obtain the truth that is necessary to generate the change in our family that we long for. I hope that you do not see my presentation of Scripture as a personal attack. If you feel the challenges and convictions (as I do) when encountering Scripture, my hope is that you allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to the truth of God’s Word (as I do). I do not wish to persuade you or convince you that my way is the right way. I do not profess to be proficient in everything there is to know; but I do know that we are wrong about some things that we need to be right on. If I make a claim about something, I can assure you that I’ve done my homework on it. I hope that you trust that I am faithful to Scripture by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I only ask that you pray for me as I pray for you.

Sincerely yours,

No Comments