A Christ Walk Church - N
IntroductionWelcome to A Christ Walk Church - Main Ministry.
|This Week's Service Topic / Pastor||Go To This Week's Service|
|General Information on A Christ Walk Church|
|Christian Characteristics we honor and glorify|
|Our Statement of Faith|
|Our Various Ministries||Frequently Asked Questions|
|Arrangement of our Services||Past Weeks' Service Messages|
In addition to this "Service-centered" web-site, our Church also has an additional web-site that will probably be of great interest and value to you. It is called the BELIEVE Religious Information Source and it contains over 1,300 articles on around 700 religious subjects. The BELIEVE articles were each written by scholars in their specific fields, and we have made great effort to minimize bias and distortion in each subject presentation by only selecting articles that seemed especially informative, complete, accurate, and as unbiased and distortion-free as possible. Most of the subject presentations in BELIEVE begin with a General article that gives an overview of the subject, and continue with an Advanced article which is often at Seminary level completeness. (Actually, many of those articles are not generally available outside of Divinity Schools!)
BELIEVE is a wonderful resource for additional learning about our Faith and our Lord. BELIEVE includes many subjects, like Arminianism, which, even though a very important subject in every Protestant Christian Church, is rarely mentioned in Sermons or Bible study sessions because it is a fairly involved subject. BELIEVE, therefore, can assist in "filling in" some gaps in the knowledge of Christianity for most people. With around 700 subjects available, we sometimes suggest to Congregation members to (randomly?) pick one BELIEVE subject to read each week. We add that the Advanced Information articles are often pretty hard to read, so they could just be scanned. It seems to us that, after 14 years (14 years of 52 weeks is just over 700 weeks), a REALLY thorough understanding of Christianity should be possible!
BELIEVE is at: http://mb-soft.com/believe/
Our Church considers the Bible to be the full, final and ultimate authority on all matters of Faith and practice. Therefore, we fully study and follow all the teachings included in both the Old and New Testaments. We believe that the Bible in its entirety originated with God, through chosen men who were His instruments in transcribing and assembling His Words. We believe that the Bible is infallible and inerrant in its original manuscripts.
We feel that many modern Churches do not adequately emphasize the illuminating behavior of Jesus while He walked on Earth. We feel that by increasing this emphasis, without neglecting or abandoning any other Christian beliefs, that a closer Walk may be attained which brings us each closer to Him. We feel that by studying and learning from His example we can come to regularly encourage each other, be helpful to each other, be forgiving to each other, and apply the other examples He taught, that we will more closely live a Christian life and walk a Christian Walk. In addition to our worship of Him, we believe that this effort toward actively Christian behavior greatly praises Jesus by following His example. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. This can also result in many benefits to our believers, both on Earth and later in Heaven. In addition, the recipient of such actions will also benefit, in many and diverse ways. Finally, such behavior on our part should be a good presentation of Christian existence to those who presently do not yet believe in Him and His Way.
In more technical terms, our Church emphasizes the Sanctification aspect of Christian life and Salvation.
We feel that these collected benefits are so great that added emphasis on studying His behavior and His Words of guidance to us regarding our behavior is highly desirable. This additional emphasis does not contradict or oppose any true Christian beliefs.
We aspire to helping each member of our community find his or her personal spiritual (non-miraculous) Gifts and traits, to help that member's Gifts and talents grow and blossom, and to encourage and assist each member to regularly use those glorious Gifts and talents. The specific Gifts and fruits which we emphasize are those inter-personal relationship Gifts and fruits which directly affect others. The list included is representative. Those rare individuals who possess miraculous Gifts are to be admired and encouraged, but a main focus of our ministry is to help grow those non-miraculous Gifts and characteristics which ALL Christians share by the effects of the Holy Spirit.
Our beliefs are similar to and compatible with the beliefs of nearly all other modern Christian Churches. We are non-denominational. Of the many teachings included in the Bible, we just emphasize an additional area that most other Churches are relatively passive on, that of Jesus' actions and behavior while He was on Earth.
We hope that by adding this emphasis, that our members will more easily develop the daily habit of FOLLOWING His example and living Christian lives on a continuous basis, and not just during an hour each weekend. By increasing the awareness of the Glory of such behavior, we hope that our members will be more aware of such actions by others and will therefore offer positive feedback to encourage them to continue such efforts. We have noticed that such people who do "good deeds" for others are seldom recognized or appreciated. If those people regularly received a pat on the back, they would be even more inspired to increase such activity. We hope that our members will sow the seeds of such admirable Christian behavior.
Unfortunately, many modern Christians rather liberally interpret the rules of behavior of being a Christian. They seem to believe that they can live a life of selfishness, meanness, greed, lust, deceit and such behavior for 167 hours each week as long as they come in on Sunday morning and say "I'm sorry." to God to absolve the sins. Such "Christians" are trying to comply with the very minimum "requirements" to maintain being a Christian. This was certainly NOT what Jesus wanted us to learn from Him. He intended for us to learn to act from proper motivation and NOT just to comply with some set of rules.
A goal of A Christ Walk Church is to remind Christians that Jesus expected each of us to strive to live a Christian life at all times. Jesus knew that we would regularly fall short, and He reassured us that He expected such occasional failures and that Heaven would not be denied us for these occasional shortcomings. It is certain that He did NOT intend to give us a carte blanche for continuously uncontrolled behavior, speech or thoughts.
All modern Christian Churches frown on such behavior and attitudes. However, we feel that many do not directly address the subject with the importance it deserves. Those Churches KNOW that many members of their flocks are in the habit of living extremely non-Christian lives during the week. Those members come to weekly service primarily to confess their sins to "wash themselves clean" so that they can start out the next week with a "clean slate." We believe that Scripture has a more strict position on this. Several references in Scripture (such as Matthew 16:27) make it clear that our OVER ALL character is what will be rewarded in Heaven. This adds an additional level of ACCOUNTABILITY to daily Christian life. Rather than JUST focusing on confessing one's recent sins to attain and maintain God's Grace, we also focus on establishing proper Christ-like behavior and motivation to minimize our sins and to help God be pleased by what He created in mankind.
These comments should NOT be construed to mean that salvation is available through doing "good works". We believe that salvation is only available by the Grace of God as a result of personal repentance (Acts 5:31; II Timothy 2:25) and Faith, in a traditional Christian manner (Romans 1:16-17) (it's called justification). The "good works" we expect to see just happen to be a natural result of the sort of Christian behavior which Jesus demonstrated and we honor and glorify. In addition, as a RESULT of our salvation, the "good works" we do will be rewarded in Heaven (Matthew 16:27) (this is part of what is called sanctification). Our congregation is filled with His Love, and the effects just "spill over" onto others and are seen as good deeds and attitudes. This situation also makes for great happiness and fulfillment in our members.
Many people grumble regularly about the state of modern society. We believe that by recognizing, studying, practicing and demonstrating traits like those listed in our Christian Characteristics list, that we might show that HOPE CAN BE FOUND IN MODERN LIFE, that happiness and fulfillment can be achievable. The cynicism, frustration and depression that many people feel these days is NOT the only option. In this way, we hope that our members' personal self-images grow and we hope that non-believers may thereby see new additional reasons to investigate Christianity. Even short of this, our examples of actively and visibly treating others in a Christian manner should be examples to encourage others to consider treating each other in better ways. If even a few people in our society soften their attitude toward their business rivals, bosses, spouses, children, parents, clients, or neighbors, then the world will be a better place. Our congregation members can contribute toward achieving this end. This is a bonus in addition to our individual salvations!
Nearly everyone looks to have "happiness" in their lives. Many pursue it by chasing power, fame, wealth. Some strive to achieve it in the process of acquisition of "things." Most don't achieve such goals, but even those that do are seldom happy for very long. Such people usually find that wealth, fame and power bring only short-term happiness - not the enduring happiness and fulfillment they had expected. If you look around, you'll probably notice that the people who seem truly happiest are those who commonly do things which benefit others. God designed the world to operate in this way! Parents most enjoyable memories often revolve around their children, for whom they lived their lives. Such relationship-oriented attitudes and actions certainly benefit others, but also bring an inner happiness and satisfaction to the giver. We believe that by applying the examples of Jesus' life from the Bible in everyday life, our members can attain an inner peace that many people consider unattainable in modern society.
In this regard, we encourage our members to regularly ask themselves "What have I done lately that might make me feel good about myself? " If a quick answer doesn't come to mind, then we would suggest looking to the Bible for guidance on practicing personal ways of letting His love spill out. After a "learning period," such thoughts and behavior become regular and natural. Our members normally do not need to consciously need to TRY to do good things. Such actions are natural consequences of living a truly Christian existence, with the Holy Spirit involved with one's life.
It is pretty obvious that "family values" are important to us and that they are closely-based on Christian beliefs.. By teaching proper Scripture-inspired motivation and behavior to our children, they will be most likely to lead happy, fulfilled lives later as adults. They will also be most likely to treat others properly and to demonstrate to others the great enduring value of leading a Christian life. Finally, by leading such a Christian life and being saved by their faith in Jesus Christ, they will be assured of a place with God in Heaven.
Most modern ministry seem so focused on getting their flocks saved and keeping them saved, that they seem to downplay the Bible's references to the Last Judgment when each of our thoughts, words, and deeds will be evaluated to determine our ultimate fates. (Matthew 16:27; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Romans 2:16; Romans 14:10,12; Matthew 12:36,37, Philippians 2:13) We feel it is appropriate to BOTH save our congregation's members AND help each of them continuously grow and be therefore confident regarding that Last Judgment evaluation.
The added aspect of accountability in behavior often devolves to an inquiry into the motivation of one's actions. For example, we believe that wearing gold jewelry for ornamentation can be acceptable, unless the driving intention is to flaunt wealth. We believe that many social activities, such as dancing or unusual dress or appearance, can be acceptable, unless the motivation for doing such is sinful. Therefore, if two similarly dressed people were dancing to rock and roll music, and one was exuberantly venting the daily stress and energy of life, while the other was intentionally dancing lewdly and suggestively, we would see that the motivations of the two were very different and would consider the first acceptable and the second, not. Observers of these two may not be able to see much distinction between them. The important consideration is in the motivations of the two people and that God sees the difference.
A similar example relates to the Commandment not to ever lie and the occasional social need for a "white lie." Nearly every actual lie is driven by negative or malicious or selfish motivation, and that is sinful. However, there are occasional situations where one realizes that the absolute truth might hurt the feelings of another person. Since the motivation and intention is positive (to avoid hurting another), we believe that God will recognize that this "white lie" is not a sin.
In a related area, we are concerned with an aspect of negativism that is common in much of Christianity. We agree that Adam and Eve's original sin caused us to each be very imperfect and sinful. We agree that each of us regularly sins and therefore falls far short of what God wishes of us (Romans 3:23). But we don't agree that faithful Christians should be made to feel worthless by their own Churches by a continual pounding on this issue, as is sometimes done. We acknowledge the weaknesses and the failings in each of us, but we recognize that the benefit of combining our flawed natures with the continuous personal existence of the Holy Spirit allows us to think and behave better than is possible of us without the Spirit. We choose to focus much of our effort on growing and cultivating the resultant strengths and moral and spiritual successes of each of us. We believe that we can each work on reducing our shortcomings (and avoid back-sliding) best in the environment of support and encouragement. We do not see value in continually criticizing and condemning Christians, which can erode their confidence and self-respect. We choose rather to recognize and encourage and support the many good characteristics which grow in all true Christians through the continuous aid and action of the Holy Spirit. We feel that Christians generally have great cause to hold their heads high, and need only occasionally hang them low.
Remember, God always knows WHY we do what we do. As long as we regularly rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the Bible, we will seldom disappoint Him.
It is therefore important that the members of our congregation do their good things for the correct reasons. If the ultimate intention is to do such things to please US or to impress others in the congregation, then we have missed our goal. If the ultimate intent is to quietly live a Christian Walk to emulate His ways without seeking or desiring outward recognition, then we have succeeded. When one of our members chooses to carry groceries for an elderly person, without any thought to getting any attention or praise or money in return, we have succeeded. Jesus will certainly be pleased with this sort of action, since it is driven by proper motivation. Such an action shows Him that the person's heart is truly saved. In addition, that member will certainly have a warm feeling inside for having spread the ways of the Lord a little more. This almost ensures happiness.
In other words, we feel that both our Clergy and our Congregation have responsibilities of thinking and behaving in a manner compatible with that of Jesus. Rigidly enforced legalistic rules don't accomplish that.
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Our Ministry Staff
The actually following of Jesus' teachings is involved in sanctification, the necessary second step in Salvation. A Christ Walk Church wants to make certain that sanctification is not neglected. By a saved Christian's learning and regularly applying the teachings of Jesus, sanctification is gradually accomplished, thereby completing the process of salvation.
We believe that a by-product of sanctification is the example of leading "a Christian life." High morals, ethics, and "family values" result. Christians who advance along in sanctification become better and better human beings, treating their children, parents, friends, co-workers and even strangers by the "Golden Rule." These effects are nice, but the ultimate value in personally developing sanctification is to prepare oneself properly to eventually be in the Presence of God.
Justification is relatively "passive," relying on Jesus' substitutionary atonement to accomplish Salvation for each of us. Sanctification is more "active," involving actions and thoughts that demonstrate Christian behavior. A Christ Walk Church believes that sanctification IS REQUIRED for eventual entry to Heaven, and that we must both Believe in Jesus by Faith alone AND learn to behave in a Christian manner. In other words, BOTH justification AND sanctification are required.
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E-mail to A Christ Walk Church: CWalk1@mb-soft.com
A Christ Walk Church is always interested in clergy members who would like to help in our efforts. Please contact us by mail, phone or E-mail, to discuss the possibilities.
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