In such a time where where the label of "Christian" means many things to many people, I believe it is important to clarify what I believe. I also recognize that my history of service in the body of Christ may bring with it (understandably) assumptions. My goal in the notes below is to well represent my understanding of truth in such a way to answer questions ministries may have. 

We are members of the body of Christ in truth (not just in the camp), when we repent (turning our lives to the Lordship of Jesus the Christ, thereby on the path to know Him... and upon conversion, His Spirit bears witness with ours that we are the children of God. Factors that cannot be compromised (pertaining to the topic of whether someone is in the body of Christ): Sincere faith in His physical death, resurrection and ascension, and that He is the only way to the Father (He is Lord, the Messiah/Christ, the Son of God/God become flesh). If people "leave" Him, the scripture says they were never of us. I believe God's kindness was readily available and shown, which justifies damnation to those who love darkness rather than the true light. God's heart is for people to be saved (which includes what it means to know Him now). Regarding topics such as predestination, I am inclined to focus more towards preaching that if you want Jesus, receive Him!, in order to protect minds from thoughts of whether or not they are "meant" to follow Jesus. God knows who will receive Him, but His heart is for all to be saved.

When someone does indeed purpose (which is by His grace) to turn their lives from their own ways, and unto to the truth of Jesus Christ and His Lordship, they are forgiven and born-again. As those who are born-again of the Spirit of God, we can now more fully discern spiritual things (though we must lay hold of God's ways, have our minds renewed, and stay in that place of fearing the Lord to truly be willing to receive truth in the midst of so much doctrinal error, even with sincere believers). I share this because though I am very much for the body of Christ growing in unity, I also believe truth is 100% important and should not be compromised. As we are renewed in truth, we are renewed in the love of God which leads us to edify in humility, and not merely condemn others. 

When I use the term Christian, I am referring to somebody who is of The Way, a disciple of Christ, now on the straight and narrow path of truly spiritually abundant life and godliness, God's way. Just because someone is in error or struggling doesn't mean they are not God's, as it is only by His grace that anything good comes through us. He has established this era of the church that we be gifts through Him to one another, as we mature in Christ. Jesus said we are not worthy of Him unless take up our cross and follow Him. Jesus showed us obedience unto the Father's will, even unto death on the cross. He taught us to pray for His Kingdom to come, His will to be done. A huge key to being a follower of Christ is as Paul wrote, that he died daily. Not my will, but Thy will be done. 

Briefly on some topics: I believe in the physical return of Jesus Christ. I believe that sinful inclinations are the norm for humanity as a result of the fall, which is why we must be made new and forgiven. I believe that distortions of sexuality are also a result of the fall, and that when someone is in Christ, they are convicted of such sins as well and have access to be renewed into God's will of faithfulness to God, and between 1 man to 1 woman, should a person desire to marry. I believe that compromise in order to "share Jesus" is no longer "sharing Jesus". I believe the original words of the Bible are God-breathed and the only sure written authority on earth. I believe that we are resurrected in newness of life to live unto God, and literally walk as children of God now.

Regarding doctrine that you may wonder about due to my history in service in the body of Christ:

 

The baptism and fillings of the Holy Spirit may happen at a later time than being born-again (Ref: Acts 8), but is not related to eternal security, nor is dependent on first being water-baptized (Ref: Acts 10). Water baptism is important and commanded but not of itself required for eternal security. Concerning baptism and "in the name of": we are not pagans who think the power is in a phonetical incantation, but rather, "in the name of" is in regards to authority and identity. For other's conscience sake for the goal of unto the greatest good, I do use the phrase during water baptism, both "with in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in Jesus' Name", and dunk (those who have a conscious awareness that they are turning from their sins unto the Lordship of Jesus Christ). I am not concerned over someone's salvation over the phrase a man said, but rather, what their life confesses. I also recognize that the power to turn away from sin comes from God, and not of ourselves. When we are saved, He comes inside, and the fruit shows He's the life within us. 

 

"Tongues" exist today, are entirely important (as is everything else Jesus died for), and should not be forbidden. Being particular with my use of words as it relates to the baptism of the Holy Spirit, I recognize that tongues are a sure outward sign that a follower of Jesus Christ has received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is different than an experience of being filled (such as happened before Pentecost) and different from being born-again, where God does indeed come into our hearts. Previous to Jesus being glorified, we could not be born again. We needed to become a new creation, a new wineskin that could be continually filled with the Spirit (and not excess of wine). Previous to Jesus being glorified, the Spirit could come upon someone, but even David pleaded that God would not take His Holy Spirit from Him. Today, we can grieve Him, but He is with those who are His unto the end. All who come to Him, He will in no wise cast out. The key word being to come to Him, which infers staying with Him, and not just waving hello. When we come to Him, God on His end will never leave or forsake us. In the Bible and today, those who were (and were not even) following Him could have "supernatural" experiences (Nebuchadnezzar, Balaam, Saul and his henchmen prophesying, and the high priest for example), but tongues was as a sign, something new (other than dreams, visions, praise, prophesying, etc). A good side note: I also recognize that the fruit (of agape/love) is way more important than what we call the "supernatural". There are indeed tongues that have nothing to do with Jesus (which I have seen in a form of what is called white witchcraft, with interpretations that relate to the demonic teaching), but He said if you ask for an egg, will He give you a scorpion? Thus tongues are a sure confirmation for those who follow Jesus, but I do not personally preach that someone has not ever been filled just because they haven't spoke in tongues, though again I believe that tongues are available to every believer (though not all are called to regularly operate in gifts of tongues for interpretation unto edification in a corporate setting).

 

There is a reality of the modern day office of apostles (not foundational as in the 12) and prophets having holy callings operating to this day, yet we should be discerning and proactive concerning the reality of many shenanigans also going on. In 1 Cor 14:29  we read of God's intent to raise prophets (notice plural) in congregations. In Eph 4:11-13 we read of offices for edifying the body of Christ. In 1 Cor 9 we read of apostles besides the 12, Paul of course being not accounted by the other apostles as one of the 12. Though we are made able ministers by the Spirit, it is wise to be discerning in what/who we promote as we want His Name represented well, and His Word does indeed warn of lying signs & wonders, false apostles & prophets, and ministers with wrong motives. 

Women are also called to public offices of ministry. More on this here.

With ministries I serve at, I am not concerned about these last topics being a primary focus (tongues, apostles, prophets, and women having liberty to minister), but rather that they are not aggressively opposed. My desire is to serve where the Lord sends me, where we are on the journey together of desiring to love God in truth.

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