My blogging journey from the beginning for those who are interested. Each week I will include one of those original blogs from Martin Scott’s Perspective site. February 4th 2010 and the blogging began. Never did this before, but what therapy, what a joy, what a chronicling of a journey that never ends. In many ways things have developed, but it is good to see where we come from to appreciate where we are. All in the healing. Enjoy or endure…
The majority of my journey has been spent inside the Assemblies of God. Made a decision to follow Christ in a local A.O.G. church in Lakenheath, Suffolk. I was 15 years of age. Had already been attending kids and youth stuff there on and off for a few years before then. Of course once you make a decision the process of teaching me the truth begins. All new converts have to know what they should believe. Indoctrination ? Surely not. These were fundamental truths that all believers should believe in. After hearing teaching on the fundamental truths of the A.O.G. I was now suitably equipped for the life of a believer, and if I show that Britain’s got talent I may be spotted to become a church leader/minister. I knew that we believed in the Holy Spirit and that He came with an initial evidence of speaking in tongues. Therefore if there are believers that do not speak in tongues they do not know the Holy Spirit and they are nominal believers. Baptism must be by full immersion. We must meet on the first day of every week to break bread. We must believe in a pre-millenium rapture of all the Saints. Great we get out of here before the trouble really starts. I soon began to realise that accompanying these fundamental truths were other little truths that become like an addendum. Not really written but must be adhered to with the same full force. I must have showed great potential because I was asked to preach before I was 16. I remember my first sermon to this day. It was at a baptism of a young girl in the youth. She was from a Catholic background. What an opportunity to share some fundamental truths about baptism. I went for it. Sprinkling is wrong. Baptising into a church is wrong. What you will see tonight is right. Those were my first steps to becoming a sign on the dotted line A.O.G. minister.
You believe what ?
At 19 I disappeared to Bible College. An A.O.G. one at that. More fundamental teaching from some great A.O.G. teachers. But there was something that bothered me. There were students there that came from other backgrounds that thought a bit differently. They had different and incorrect views on the end times. They thought God could speak through and to Catholics inside that anti-Christ system. There were some very interesting debates. And what began in my life was the beginning of the unfolding of what I truly believed. Came to some conclusions, then sometimes changed back again. Life in college was very colourful and I look back at some of those relationships with great fondness. But I came out the other end a trained (in theory) potential minister who was prepared to sign the dotted line and say I am a pastor that believes in these fundamental truths. That happened in a place called Lutterworth near Leicester. I took my two year probation and then I did it. I was ‘ordained’ an A.O.G. man. The problem was, unlike some of my friends and colleagues if you cut me open I did not have A.O.G. running through the centre of me. The journey of deconstruct/construct had begun.
Believe what I see
Looking back at my life in the ministry i realise so much of it, especially through the teaching and preaching, is to get people to see things how I see them. If people see what I see they are serving the vision and we will get along fine. If they do not see it and even dare to ask questions they are immature and maybe should go and find a new spiritual home. So much time and energy spent on equipping people to serve my works of service and not equipping them for there own. This is the vision. This is what we all believe. All for one and one for all. I’m running in this direction and you better all follow or get left behind. This is his pattern for church, the magic blueprint. God has given it to me, I am so special. Apostles, prophets, signs and wonders, spontaneous worship. This is the way, walk ye in it.
For anyone who was caught up anywhere in my fundamentalism I want to deeply apologise and repent for being so wrapped up in serving my own vision that I neglected to serve yours. I wanted you to get behind me, I never got behind you. I wanted you to make me feel and look better, I did not want to promote you. I was wrong and I humbly apologise. I neglected to see that we all only see through a glass darkly. We all have veiled and limited revelation, and together we could have built a bigger picture of the heart of God. I see it now. I did not see it then
I know nothing…
So my story reaches today. The more I journey I realise that I know less and less. I can no longer fight battles over things that are not worth fighting about. I want to see things from all angles. The only fundamental truth I carry now is that I believe in Jesus. I believe in God. I believe in the Holy Spirit. All other ground is shifting sand. What is truth anyway? Jesus once said,
I am the way, the truth and the life
He is the truth. That is why we need to fix our eyes on Him. He is the author and perfecter of my faith. Do not look to the right or the left, but gaze. Does He always reveal Himself in the same way? No. He comes in the fire and in the silence. He comes on the wind and He comes in flesh. He comes as a baby and He comes as the gardener. He comes as a prophet and He comes as a physician. He comes with a shout and He hides Himself from us. He is there on the mountain and He is there in the valley. It says of Him that He is the same yesterday, today, forever. Does that mean he never changes? I think it fits more in line with the phrase constant change is here to stay. He is the same, always changing. A shape shifter. He said the Spirit was like Him, and it says of the Spirit that you do not know where He has come from or where He is going. So is Jesus, and so should His people be. Shape shifting through life but always revealing something of the heart of the father. The Spirit will always guide us into all truth. And the truth will set us free. What or who is truth? He is. Does this mean we should not discuss or read theology? Of course we should but always be willing to learn and reap and see Him through it all. That His revelation is constantly progressive. The truth is out there, although it may not be fundamental, just the way I see it. And the way I see Him. And the way He has chosen for today to reveal His heart. I want to help others to see Him too. And help them realise that He loves them enough to guide them into all truth…into Jesus Himself.
I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.
But I know Whom I have believèd,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.
I know not how this saving faith
To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word
Wrought peace within my heart.
I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing us of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.
I know not what of good or ill
May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
Before His face I see.
I know not when my Lord may come,
At night or noonday fair,
Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
Or meet Him in the air.
Daniel W Whittle did not know alot of things, and neither do I. But to know Him…now that sets me free!!!!!!