A couple nights ago a few of us from Blue Point Bible Church attended a Bible study conducted by another “church”. We walked in knowing at the outset that our “churches” had some areas of disagreement in doctrine, however they invited us, so we attended.
That alone could be the reason I love my church- we love Bible study! Some have said that our church is like a big Bible study group- surely worse could be said about a local church, right? Actually, our church was in the local paper some years ago because of others boasting about the nature of our small groups – discussion and Bible study.
However, something else is highlighted and marks us at Blue Point Bible Church a bit different than the churches around us – not only do we study the Bible, we seek to study it in a manner that truly draws out what it means. Not what it means to “me”, or two church leaders, etc….but what did these historical details mean to the original writers and recipients?
Valid question, right?
You would think this would be more evident in Bible studies, however sadly that is not the case, and all to often this style of study is demonized -because let’s face it, we like our own thoughts, traditions, desires, and perspectives.
“Even though the Bible was written for us, it wasn’t written to us. When we take our Western, modern culture and impose it on the text, we’re putting in meaning that wasn’t there, and we’re missing meaning that the text has.” – Dr. John Walton
So while there is so much to boast about in regards to what God is doing (especially in my locale on Long Island), many of us see the need for a continuing reformation and revival.
We rejoice that we have great fellowship, food, coffee, and even new people attending services, even getting baptized, at Blue Point Bible Church, however we know that the substance is found in knowing God through His Word. And unfortunately, many Christians in their failure to establish the historical context and what is referred to as “audience relevance” in Scripture, are proclaiming a “half-true gospel”. We will not revive, reform, or renew our generation for the Lord with a “half true gospel”.
The Blue Point Bible Church readily recognizes this issue. Our leaders at BPBC are committed to honestly handling the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15) in an effort to glorify God and reach the lost. Recently, I listened to a couple podcasts regarding evangelism and this generation, and one concept that was continually highlighted is our message. Our current culture should cause us to analyze our message (besides the ever-reforming nature the community of Christ is called to have (cf. Romans 12:1-2)), and in that analyzation is should be evident that the world around us hardly knows what it is we stand for as Christians and/or how reforming/renewing our Truth really is.
One writer asked, “What would it look like if the Church can revive the Christ-centric vision of the Kingdom of God”?
That’s why I love my church, specifically, because we recognize the truth to that statement is found by “studying to show ourselves approved”. (2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
On Sunday, August 21st, 2016 – Pastor Steve Schilling exhorted us with a message from Exodus 33:11-23 in which he detailed how our message to the world is to proclaim His fulfilled work!
More often than not, I find myself in discussions and dare I say “Bible studies” that are focused on what we (humans) want God to do, or what we think is next on His “prophetic time clock”, and we completely miss the point of His fulfilled work. Worse yet, many have come to disagree regarding fulfillment. Just how much did Jesus Christ fulfill?
Summarizing the great message Pastor Steve preached we find that the work God does in the world, which He did at Mount Sinai and which He did in and through Jesus Christ, is manifest His presence among His people. His presence is what sets His people apart from the world (cf. Exodus 33:16).
The goal of God’s presence amongst His people is to manifest and make known a wholesome, worthwhile, and beautiful existence (which we call “life”) to which this world needs to be restored. Sadly, in our carnality we commit this sin of Adam and Eve when we try to define the world, the solutions to the world, our views of God, and His will according to our own definitions and standards.
Blue Point Bible Church is on the front lines of renewing and reforming Christianity, moving away from out of context teachings based on whims and wills of man, instead searching and studying the Scriptures to better manifest the presence of God. That is why I love my church, specifically.
Join us on Sundays @ 10:30AM for prayer, worship, & the Word!
In Service to Him,
Pastor Michael Miano