A couple years back when I planted The Fellowship C.H.U.R.C.H. in Fort Myers, Florida, I was influenced by Pastor Matt Keller’s book, Up the Middle Church. In his book, Pastor Matt speaks about the importance of every church knowing its “purple cow”. What makes it different from the rest of the cows, so to speak. This marketing term helps pastors know what it is that their Church is providing that maybe other churches do not.
The other night I heard a pastor of another local church ask, “How is our church called to make a difference on Long Island?”.
Many the members and attendees at The Blue Point Bible Church have heard me speak about how I believe our church has ample opportunity to be a church marked by “wisdom and understanding” offering a true and reasonable expression of the gospel to the nations. I believe this will be “the healing of the nations”.
Many scholars, Bible teachers, and so forth notice the need for a better expression of the gospel truths in our day and age. A.W. Tozer spoke some amazing insights dealing with this topic:
“The church has lost her testimony. She has no longer anything to say to the world. Her once robust shout of assurance has faded away to an apologetic whisper. She who one time went out to declare now goes out to inquire. Her dogmatic declaration has become a respectful suggestion, a word of religious advice, given with the understanding that it is after all only an opinion and not meant to sound bigoted”.
I believe the Church has “faded” because of the lack of Biblical literacy within its ranks. As A.W. Tozer continued:
“Men who have been used of God in any generation from Calvary down to this hour have not invented and preached new truths. They have simply had the anointed vision to discover truths that had been obscured by the overemphasis of certain other truths”.
I must admit I was rather encouraged when I read a blog that included these quotes by Mr. Tozer since this is something I have been saying for a while. A couple years ago, I remember reading an article about how the Evangelical Church has rejected reason- this saddened me. I constantly see the lack of emphasis on Biblical truth in the Church and the dumbing down of the salvific message (another topic I have blogged about extensively). Recently, I read an article which spoke about how many people view becoming a Christian as committing “intellectual suicide” and I can surely say I have seen the “intellectual dishonesty” within the church leadership firsthand.
So….I accepted the call to come and pastor on Long Island, a place where churches are stuck in ‘dead tradition’ (someone recently said that “this is a place where pastors come to die”- Yikes!), a young generation stuck in drugs and gangs (dare I say “stuck on stupid”), and a careless attitude about the things necessary to finding “life to the full”. What do we do?
I firmly believe that ANSWERS are needed. Blue Point Bible Church is committed to knowing, exhibiting, and explaining the “knowledge of God” to a world that so desperately needs it. We place emphasis on the fact that the grace, peace, and abundant life filled with blessed are found through “the knowledge of God” (2 Peter chapter 1) and therefore seek to be diligent students and teachers of TRUTH! This is what I call “zeal empowered by knowledge”.
According to Galatians chapter 5 verse 6, “the only thing that counts in faith expressing itself through love”. I agree! We must realize that faith is a verb. Faith is acting out on what we KNOW to be objectively true- kinda like Simon Peter walking on water because He knew who “the Christ” was. If the Church is called to make known the manifold wisdom of God (Ephesians 3:10-11), we must walk worthy of this calling by expressing and explaining these truths reasonably- thereby empowering people to put faith in those teachings. THIS IS WHAT YOU WILL FIND AT THE BLUE POINT BIBLE CHURCH! LIFE AND LIFE TO THE FULL!
J.I. Packer spoke about the importance of doctrinal preaching when he said:
“Doctrinal preaching certainly bores the hypocrites; but it is only doctrinal preaching that will save Christ’s sheep.”
A PERSONAL STATEMENT
A.W. Tozer said this:
“Great saints have always been dogmatic.We need right now a return to a gentle dogmatism that smiles while it stands stubborn and firm on the Word of God that liveth and abideth forever”.
I have been known for the past couple years within some circles for my forceful preaching, willingness to debate, and firm stance upon Biblical truths – a.k.a. being quite dogmatic (especially in regards to Preterism).
I feel as thought God has been doing quite the work on my recently, challenging my in regards to “preaching the truth IN LOVE”. Have I been humble in my approach? I would honestly say “not so much”. The past couple weeks I have really been challenged in these regards, especially after listening to Apostle Ronald Price speak about Walking in the Greater Light at the Defiance conference. Apostle Price spoke about the need for love and humility in our approach toward those in the “lesser light”. Similar to the words of the book of Ephesians:
“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-3)”.
While I agree with this sentiment spoken by A.W. Tozer:
“Another kind of religious leader must arise among us…When he comes (and I pray God there will be not one but many) he will stand in flat contradiction to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. He will contradict, denounce and protest in the name of God and will earn the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christendom”.
I couldn’t have said it better. I am sure that there are those of you who know me personally who may have read that quote and felt like Mr. Tozer was speaking about me, ha ha ha. I find it very important that as a man of God, a Christian leader that I “encourage in sound doctrine and rebuke those who oppose it (Titus chapter 1)” and I will surely continue to walk in that calling.
So in light of that please allow me to share what you can expect of me ( MIANO GONE WILD) is time to come….I believe firmly in the principles of reformation. I believe reformation and revival have come to Long Island and are surely LONG ISLANDS NEXT BIG THING (visit http://www.longislandsnextbigthing.com). All of that said, while I believe this does need to be moved forward aggressively, I will be praying to move forward in a Spirit of humility, gentleness, patience, and ultimately love. I believe this to be the proper “strategical approach” to ‘demolishing strongholds and bringing all thoughts captive to Christ’, or in other words, helping others walk in and better understand TRUTH!
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Michael Miano