“Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22)”.
What you will read in this blog is part of my “walking worthy” of the verses mentioned above. Simply put, I strive to heed the teaching the Spirit (which I believe is manifested through the words of the Scriptures, as well as through the teachings of men and women within the Body of Christ) therefore I record my notes, and examine everything carefully. This is simply my sharing details of my completed notebook from the time of May 2015 to current day.
I do all that I can to connect with other ‘members’ of the Body of Christ, many times trying to institgate reform within the ‘Body’. I went to a pastoral meeting back in May 2015 in which a local pastor named Gary Stevens shared a message concerning the soon coming “sweeping, weeping, and reaping revival”. As I heard him preach, I was stirred to think of the following quote by Mr. Scott Mcknight:
“Right missional practice hinges on applied theological precision”.
That being so, I want to share some details regarding ‘theological precision’ from my studies.
Martin Lloyd Jones has become somewhat of a favorite regarding the sensibility of ‘Spiritual power’. Surely, Mr. Jones is noted as a more sensible ‘Charismatic’ in contrast to those noted as the ‘crazi-matics’. I regularly think of Mr. Jones in light of his statements regarding “logic on fire”. In one sermon he preached on Judges 18:7, he highlighted the purpose of good Biblical teaching, and ultimately the essence of life decisions. He marked out 2 tests of life – Is it true? And does it work or succeed in it’s purpose?
Talking about ‘right missional practice’ should bring us to the remarks of the Apostle Peter in 2nd Peter chapter 1, specifically verse 8 we are given qualities that we should produce in increasing measure in order to be ‘effective and productive’ in our use of the knowledge of God.
Throughout the year of 2015 and even moving into 2016, I have been developing my understanding and theology of the ‘local church’. Recently, I presented a ‘conference call lecture’ detailing ‘The Efficacy of the Local Church’, you can listen to that through the following link, http://www.mianogonewild.com/audios/19/pastor-michael-miano-on-the-monthly-preterist-conference-call-.html
A resource that was very helpful in developing my view was a resourced called ‘Rennovation’ that was lent to me by another pastor. In order to truly be effective in our mission of reforming minds by the Word, as well as helping and healing our communities through outreach we must seek a specific geographic area to mobilize our resources. Also, this allows for unity in the larger ‘Body of Christ’ because each local church knows their area and niche.
At The Blue Point Bible Church we make it our mission to “Make Known the Manifold Wisdom of God in Word, and in Deed”. This allows and requires us to be “a people of wisdom and understanding” who are well-informed about the “knowledge of God”.
Here are some of the more recent details we have gone through at B.P.B.C.
Beginning in Feb. 2015 – we embarked on a “through the Bible” series called “Returning to Our First Love”. This series highlighted the need for a “narrative theology” to replace the somewhat confused “systematic theology” of our day. You can listen to the pod-casts at the following link, and be on the look out for a teaching course by the same name. Our podcast-ed sermons can be here – www.buzzsprout.com/11630
Also, on the heels of that series, as we got to the ‘Book of Revelation’ we began ‘Clarity in Revelation’, which will also be apart of the ‘Returning to Our First Love’ teaching course and booklets.
It has been so encouraging to see so much being done, developed, and accomplished to bring the understanding of Full Preterism to the forefront. Surely, these efforts will continue for years to come.
Each and every day, I wake up with the driving motivation to bring clarity to a confused world- both in the Christian community and outside. Prayerfully, my efforts being totally by the grace of God, are seen in that manner. Our theology should be leading people to healing, since the knowledge of God is provided for exactly that purpose. In regards to what we mentally assent to I often think of the following quote by Milton Terry in Paradise Lost, “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make heaven of hell, and hell of heaven”.
The ethic of our theology surely provided much “fruit” in 2015, and as we move into 2016.
I can attest to continually challenging myself in many regards, especially through ‘contemplative prayer’ – reading through the Books of Wisdom (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Song), as well as understanding the theology behind the writings will surely inspire a man!
I had desired to become more wholesome in my conversations – steering clear of idle chatter that leads to gossip, sought to bring more clarity in my sermons, get to know the members of my local church better, let the power of God and the vision He had given me be seen through my teachings and my life, as well as buy a ring for my pretty lady – all of which I have done, and continually increasing in. (Oh yeah, she said YES! :))
The motto which I felt was Spiritually-discerned for our congregation as we moved into 2016 is, “BPBC 2016: Creating an environment geared toward cultivating fruit – 2 Peter 1:8”. The concept is generally – walking worthy of what we now know. This was highlighted at our conference in March 2016.
As we entered the new year and I surveyed some of ‘theological needs’ of our congregation, I felt compelled to preach a series called ‘Life Together’ based on the teachings of Scripture, as well as utilizing the book ‘Life Together’ by Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer. One thing I love about Bonhoeffer was his insistence on the need for the local church to “Turn away from the phraseology to the real”/ having an insistent realism in regards to our doctrine”. Pastor Bonhoeffer would sum this up as “existing for others” – which I believe is highlighted in the details of 2 Corinthians chapter 10 – demolishing the strongholds that keep people from having an understanding of the truth of God manifested and made known through Jesus Christ.
“It is by the grace of God a congregation is permitted to gather visibly in this world to share God’s Word”. – Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I truly believe that, examine myself daily, and pray that God continues to work through in and through me as I lead our congregation to walk worthy of all that we have in Christ – bearing fruit for His glory!
In Service to Him,
Pastor Michael Miano