Part Eighteen–The Times They Are A’ Changin’
Shortly after this, I began to pray for an opportunity to exercise the gift of teaching that I was given and very soon after that, God answered my prayer. One of the leaders of our youth group was interested in learning more about theology and I agreed to teach him.
In November 2002, in order to help out my in-laws, Kandice and I moved into their unsold house to housesit. It was in the small village of Waltz, in the city of New Boston, which is about an hour from Sterling Heights. We were still committed to going to our church though and made plans when the house sold to move back into that area.
But God had other plans. In a letter that I sent to Pastor Aaron, I then explain what happened:
When I entered into the meeting times with Brad, my intentions, as I told Brad and you, were not to indoctrinate him. I wanted to teach him each school of thought, tell him what our church believed, and let him decide for himself. I wanted Brad to think for himself. In retrospect, I’m not sure if this was such a great idea, but it was how I approached it. I found a really good concise confession of faith that was not near as long as the Westminster, but still covered quite a bit. I decided that I would compare this reformed confession to the Sixteen Fundamental Truths of the Assemblies of God. I could point out the differences, point out where I felt each confession needed clarification, and work off of both scripts. Because of the shortness of the Fundamental Truths, we tended to work mostly out the Belgic Confession. We talked mostly about the essentials like the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, definition of atonement, etc. When we finally reached the point of talking about Calvinism and Arminianism, I was careful not to share with him my beliefs but to present both schools of thought and was also careful to note that the Assemblies of God fall more to the middle of the road in this argument, according to their website which I checked out to be sure that I presented the argument correctly. When he asked me what I believed on the subject, I told him that I did believe in eternal security but was also quick to point out that even though I believed that, it was not what our church believed. Brad was also smart enough to recognize that there is a school of thought that goes with eternal security and asked me my opinion on that. I told him that I lined up with most of the points of Calvinism, but again stressed that this was not what our church believed and that he needed to study the Scriptures more and to stay in much prayer. It was never my intention to sway him one way or the other. I pointed out to him the flaws in the Calvinist argument as well as the Arminian argument and I did my best to make sure that he understood where our church stood on this issue as opposed to where I stood.
Unfortunately, when Pastor Aaron discovered my beliefs, he was less than happy. My wife and I volunteered to step down from our youth sponsor positions. Three weeks later, after a time of prayer and seeking the Lord, we also decided to resign our church membership. This entered a very dark time for my wife and I spiritually. Since January of 2003, we have been without a church home. In July, we purchased a mobile home in Carleton, Michigan, about 5 miles south of the still unsold house that has now been on the market for almost two years. By the grace of God, we are still doing well, but we crave the fellowship of a local church. I am now a senior at Tyndale and hope to be finished with my Bachelor’s degree by next fall. Ironically, my wife is employed at Trott & Trott, P.C. as a foreclosure specialist.