I was thinking tonight as I was having a conversation tonight with my girlfriend. Talking about life it’s twist turns and the what if this, and what if that. After my spiritual awakening at 16 I was very spiritual, my leaders presumed I would be a young up and coming pastor. Then some twist and turns appeared in my life and I was married and a heavy drinking U.S. Army soldier . I still had the dream of pastoring but it seemed far away. So tonight I wondered, what if. Then during contemplation I said to myself I would have been one of those fundamental conservative pastors who only stayed within their culture. I probably would have found Biblical education at a institute falling in line with the rest of my peers. I probably would have never actually learned to think. Although I probably would have not become an ex con and substance abuser. One thing for sure is I would never have become The Backyard Preacher. I would have never learned to conduct biblical research earning my Masters in Religion through taking courses online; this partly because I lost my license and know one would hire me because of a felony conviction for theft. This created a deep anger and to be honest selfish advocate for felons trying to do the right thing in life but still treated as second class citizens. I wouldn’t know what it was like to spend time with many different cultures and ethnicities through my military service and factory jobs. To be able to empathize with homosexuals, minorities, and others with substance issues. Maybe all things do work out for a reason. Maybe God has led me down this path for such a time as this. Maybe I am becoming the pastor who wants his congregation to think about what I preach and for homework come to a different conclusion other than mine.
I am wondering if some of the problems within the fundamental conservative church today is leaders who are trained not to think. Yet only adhere to the old saying “The Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it.” Instead to actually research and challenge the pastor to teach one another to sharpen each other. To limit dogma take away rules that weigh each other down and truly be free as a church under Christ. So not to be long winded this was only going to be a Facebook post but I thought it would be a bit long. If you listen to my podcast The Backyard Preacher I encourage you to challenge me, come up with different conclusions. Do your own research we should all be willing and able to step up to the pulpit and lead.
So all in all, I have been through a lot of self-made crap in my life. Yet through it all I have become The man and Christian I am today because of it.