Statement of Faith
I am first and foremost a Christian. I embrace, without reservation, the Christian faith and count myself a follower of Jesus Christ. What’s more, I am unswervingly committed to the authority of God, the deity of Jesus, and the inerrancy of the Bible as God’s Word.
Too many churches and professing Christians have lost their way by following emotion or cultural trends. The church is to be grounded in the teachings of Jesus and his apostles (Acts 2:42) and pastors are to teach and preach today, according to the Word of God (II Timothy 4:2).
While no human “creed” or statement is a substitute for the Bible, I was ordained in 2005 through the ministry of Fair Oaks (Baptist) Church, according to the doctrinal statement of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International (BBFI). I am also in complete agreement with the 2000 Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Baptist Faith & Message.
Questions & Answers
How Do You Know God is Real?
The Bible calls us to faith (see Hebrews 11), so God will always be hidden to some extent. If I say I have faith that oxygen is real, that’s not really faith. It’s knowledge, because we all know (via scientific fact and personal experience) that oxygen is real. Where there is 100% knowledge, faith is not possible. Nevertheless, I’m fully convinced of the reality of God and believe, with all my heart, that I have an active and personal relationship with Him. The evidence for the existence of God is overwhelming. It frankly doesn’t take a whole lot of faith to believe in something so obvious as the existence of God. It takes a lot more faith to be an atheist.
Is Jesus the only way to Heaven?
In John 14:6, Jesus says to his disciples: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, except through me.” This is a very clear declaration of exclusivity.
In Romans 10:9-10, Paul says that a person must “confess…the Lord Jesus” and “believe in your heart that God raised [Jesus] from the dead.” Only then, will you (according to Paul) be “saved.”
How does one accept Christ?
Jesus tells Nicodemus that you must be “born again” and explains that one must “believe in [God's only begotten Son]” in order to have “everlasting life” (John 3).
Paul writes that whosoever will “call upon the name of the Lord” will be “saved” (Romans 10:13).
Accepting Christ simply means that you accept what Jesus says about Himself in the Bible and embrace Him as your Lord and Savior. You confess Christ as one who paid the price for your sins and call upon Him to save you.
Is the Bible the Word of God?
But…wait! Isn’t the Bible full of contradictions?
If you believe the Bible has contradictions, I invite you to watch “Thirty Times Thirty is Still Zero“ with R.C. Sproul. You might also find this video on apparent Gospel contradictions interesting. It features Dr. William Lane Craig.
Do you believe in Evolution?
Science has established that species adapt, but science has not shown (aside from some creative re-classifications and sleight of hand) that one species has evolved into an entirely different species.
I encourage you to watch “Is Evolution Compatible With Christianity,” a great panel discussion on this subject.
How important is it to attend church?
Very important. See “Why Should Church be a Priority?”
What’s Your Position on Homosexuality and Gay Marriage?
The Bible teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman (see Genesis). As a pastor, I’m bound to “preach the Word” (as Paul instructed Timothy). Therefore, I do not support same-sex marriage and do not believe that God endorses any marital union outside of His intended framework. God loves everyone, however, and we must speak the truth in love and grace. I deplore bigotry and hate in all forms.
How about Abortion and Euthanasia?
Human life is a sacred gift from God. Life is a precious thing to God, and it should be precious to us. No individual should have the legal right to unilaterally decide another human being should die. There are some situations where a person may be compelled to take life to defend himself or herself (or to defend someone else) and there are certainly times when government may take life (as in war or law enforcement), but death should always be seen as a tragedy. Life is sacred to God, and it should be seen that way by all of us.
I’m seeing articles by you on a number of subjects not related to the ministry. What’s up with that?
My articles are great for insomnia, so I hope they help.
Seriously, my dad was a freelance writer, and I guess the love for writing (and hopefully some of the talent for it) rubbed off on me. I enjoy writing, and have been published on a variety of subjects, including Christianity, American history, personal development, self-esteem, money, health, etc.
These articles (in some cases) have allowed me to earn a little extra money for my family. The apostle Paul made tents to supplement his income. No one has ever asked, nor would they desire, me to make a tent. I’m not much when it comes to that sort of thing, but I can write.
Most importantly, having so many articles out there on the Internet has allowed me to expand my reach to people that might otherwise not read something written by a pastor. Yet, in virtually all my writings, there’s a path that leads them back to more information about me, and thus information about my faith in Jesus Christ. So, yes, my articles are indirectly (and, in some cases, directly) a witnessing tool.
How Should Christians Approach Money (making money, investing, debt, etc.)?
The Bible says a lot about money. In fact, there are more verses about money than about heaven and hell! God’s position on money is basically this: Money must not be your “god” or “master,” and you should not allow yourself to be overtaken by the love of or lust for money or the things money can buy.
That doesn’t mean money is unimportant or that it’s somehow wrong to talk about or even desire more money. You just need to keep money in its proper perspective and handle it as God wants you to handle it.
For more on the subject of money, check out…
“What Does the Bible Say About Prosperity?” (an article I wrote over at Suite101.com)
“What Does the Bible Say About Managing Finances?” (from GotQuestions.org)
Are we living in the “End Times”?
Our task is to “work for the night is coming” as the old hymn says. We should invest more time in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ and advancing the kingdom of God in our culture (heart by heart and life by life) than we do in reading books on prophecy or trying to calculate when Jesus will return.
However, some study in eschatology is healthy. Thus, I offer the following article by Norman Geisler for your review…
Do you believe in the “Doctrine of Election” or in “Free Will”?
I believe that God created the human race (Genesis 1), chose to love the human race (John 3:16) and extend His grace and love to the human race, even after sin had corrupted us (Romans 5:8). I believe that God chose Jesus Christ as the means by which we can escape the penalty of our sins and spend eternity with Him in heaven (John 3:16; John 14:6; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 10:9-13).
I believe that God desires all human beings to accept His offer of salvation and escape eternal judgment (II Peter 3:9), yet Jesus tells us that most will not (Matthew 7:13).
If God predetermined a list of human beings that were going to accept Christ, He didn’t share that list with me. He only told me to “preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
I see no reason why this issue should divide Christians. It’s NOT our job to determine (or even to speculate) who will or who won’t accept Christ. It’s our job to take the Gospel to the world.
For more on this subject, check out “Reaching Today’s World Through Differing Views on Election” with Al Mohler and Paige Patterson.
Which is more important: Unity or Doctrine?
BOTH are important. Christians are called repeatedly to unity, and yet unity must be around something tangible – or around someone specific. Our unity should be around Jesus Christ and His teachings. Those teachings (along with those of Jesus’ apostles) represent the foundation of the Christian church (Ephesians 2:19-20).
So, why are you a “Baptist”?
I am first and foremost a follower of Jesus Christ. I do not believe that Baptists have any special claim on heaven, nor do I think there will be some kind of special section for Baptists in heaven. I’m a Christian LONG before I’m a Baptist.
Having said that, I believe that the Baptists, for most of their history, have stayed more closely aligned with the Scriptures than have the other denominations. Of course, there are dozens of “Baptist” denominations and sub-groups out there that further complicate the picture. For more on my specific doctrinal beliefs, check out the “Beliefs” page.
So…what Doctrines are Worth Dividing Over?
I would like to call on Dr. Al Mohler to help answer that question. Read Dr. Mohler’s excellent article titled “A Call For Theological Triage and Christian Maturity.” I am in complete agreement with Dr. Mohler’s arguments and analysis.