On Angels and Team God

Angels aren’t frequently discussed in much of the mainstream. To believe in angels, from the mainstream point of view these days, is to be a touch too mystical. Maybe flaky.

Yet, here I sit with an angel on my right shoulder.

My angel’s name is Nona. She is a seraphim.

My relationship with Nona began after God left me. I still have a deeply personal relationship with God, but it was about 3 days He spent directly with me. God, after all, has a whole universe of things to do, so we still communicate daily, but He is handling other things and other people.

As God was about to leave, He told me I deserve something. I had spoken to God for several days and all I asked for was continued health so I may be in communion with Him.

Think about it. If God were with you, as a friend, you wouldn’t try to examine His nature, or ask for things, right? In all His glory, you may be in awe of such splendor. God, I will tell you, is perfect in all His ways. When you interact with Him, He perfects you. He makes you a better you–just by being so awesome and worthy of praise.

So, when God told me I deserved something, I asked for two things: (1) Health and (2) Protection.

Immediately, God granted these things to me. In fact, I got the meet the angel Gabriel before I met Nona. Gabriel was setting up protection.

It’s important to understand the host of heavenly beings. We can work together with them to bring about God’s goodness and justice in the world.

I am at point when I’m not exactly sure what, if anything, I am called to do. By that, I mean, other than be in accordance with God’s wishes for me, I don’t know how or whether I’m supposed to act in the world for God’s purpose.

As God left me, He said, “Team?”

I affirmed, “Team.”

Then, angels descended and evil was cleared.

So, I now consider myself on Team God.

And I have learned this is just the beginning. I have to, for example, rely on God to help me every day to stay a good person. Even though God’s word is His word, and He said He would keep me, I have to watch out for pride, and other things. One can, I suspect, be kicked off the Team the way Satan was.

I don’t want that for myself or for anyone else.

(Nona agrees.)

Whatever my purpose on this Team, I hope to do a good job of it.

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

Last night, the Book of Job came up in conversation. Having many similarities with Job, I looked it up. The Book of Job helps explain to us why bad things happen to good people.

As I have stated elsewhere, there is a separation between us and God. Anything, really, that keeps us from being close and having a personal relationship with God is of Satan. Our very basic quest in life is to have a deeply personal relationship with God.

What does this have to do with Job?

Job lost everything–his family, his land. Throughout the story, Job’s friends suggest that this is because he did something wrong.

Job didn’t do anything wrong. He was, in fact, a great model of human character.

In my experience, that’s exactly why Satan wanted him.

Why do bad things happen to good people? If you are seeking God, trying to live for God and emulating Jesus, Satan wants you all the more. Satan will come after you to try to prevent a union with God.

In my opinion, that’s what happened to Job. Satan tries to immobilize you if you are questing too hard for God. It is he who will inflict pain, suffering and difficult trials.

The Good News is that God is so much greater than Satan.

In Job 1:21, we see a famous quote:

He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The LORD gave me what I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD!”

Job is said the have enormous patience. But so, too, did he have what we may call a Stoic character. The above quote shows just that. I’m not advocating becoming a Stoic over being a Christian, but there’s a virtue in being able to praise God whatever your external circumstances. The Stoics, as we know, tried to seek Stoic Calm no matter their situation. This shedding of the passions is the goal for Stoics.

Job perfected it.

Job is a Biblical hero. He is a model by which we can aim our lives.

We will gain and lose in life, but in all things we should seek God and strive to be virtuous. It is Satan who tries to shackle us down. In God, there is freedom.

Why Is God Worthy to Be Praised?

Today, I told a friend that God is perfect in all His ways. And it’s true.

As many know, I come from a philosophy background. Specifically, I tried to study virtue ethics. In virtue ethics, we try to develop virtues, rid ourselves of vices and seek a telos, or end goal in life.

I was thinking about God and His perfect ways today when I looked up Bible verses about praising God. In ethics, someone is praiseworthy if they inhabit virtues of character and act on them.

God has a perfect character and always acts perfectly. By that, I don’t mean He is too pious, too stern, too removed, or too condemning. Rather, of each trait God has, He possess them just right. That’s what I mean by God being perfect. This perfection makes Him praiseworthy.

In Chronicles 16: 23-31, we find the following:

Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. 24 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. 25 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.26 For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. 27 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place. 28 Ascribe to the LORD, all you families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. 29 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.30 Tremble before him, all the earth! The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. 31 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!”

I simply couldn’t have said it better myself.

My Eternal Mistake

I don’t know about anyone else in the discipline of philosophy, but back when I was in the field, no matter how secular my projects seemed, I was indeed searching for God. In questing to know, for example, about the universe, the structure of proper reasoning, and the good life, I was always seeking God.

I now consider this a mistake.

As I have come to know God (through Jesus Christ!), I have now found the solution that was under my nose the entire time. It’s quoted so often it seems cliche. It is, of course, John 3:16.

I grew up with this verse etched in my heart. I now consider myself very lucky to have been brought up in such a way that scripture was etched within me because, finally, I know God.

How do I know God?

Through Jesus Christ.

The Bible tells us very clearly that we are separated from God. When you pray and hope there’s someone listening? That’s the separation. And we are not able to cross that separation by our deeds, our quests or our seeking alone.

That was my mistake. Trying to find God without going through Jesus.

You may take some bit of Jesus’ words and try to live them, act on them and be them. Jesus is a role model. Through Jesus, you will come to know God.

Now, what exactly do I mean by knowing God?

I mean it in the same way, really, as you know your best friend. I know it sounds crazy to some, but it’s common in my church-group: I talk, God listens–and talks back!

No, no. I’m not hearing voices. And, yes, I know the old saying that it’s OK to talk to God, but it’s not OK if He talks back. Trust me, I am very sane. What’s not OK is being OK with the distance between us and God.

I call God my friend. Because He is.

After searching for countless years, God and I finally have a relationship. According to Christianity, this is the telos of human life.

I am there.

Does Calling It Like It Is Actually Save the World?

You, seekers of and fighters for justice, I’m talking to you.

I got to wondering something last night and now I want to put it out there. There’s plenty of people who make it their life’s effort to call out injustice. I have myself devoted years of my life to this very thing.

My question is: Does it work?

It’s not about how you feel. Feeling doesn’t always tell your actual results. And I’m not calling anyone out. I honestly wish to know. If there are any studies that calling out injustice actually does anything, I’d like to know.

I’m not just talking about calling injustice out on social media or in articles, either. I’ve spent a fair amount of time at protests and rallies. Do they actually accomplish anything?

This question comes for me at a time when I think I’ve found a way of creating more good in the world and limiting evil. You can read about it in my essay here. In short, I think “pruning” rids the world of evil and aides in creating God’s goodness in the world. I happen to think it’s worth a shot, but it does require one becomes Christian. If that’s not for you, that’s OK. God, as I most certainly know, has the manners to not intrude in your life.

Yet, fellow justice seekers, while we may not be on the exact same page when it comes to the source of and solution to injustice, we do have a similar goals. Remember that the methods I employ appear to work for me and may work for others. If you wish to continue to call out injustice or attend rallies as your main method of fighting injustice, I salute you!

Better to Be a Christian Unsatisfied

Satan is pretty clever.

Sometimes, evil is forbidding spiritual discussion from ever happening. That happened to me today as I was discussing God with a friend and someone barged in and basically forced to conversation to close.

But sometimes, evil is getting you used to creature comforts. I don’t think God wants you to be uncomfortable. I also don’t think God is a Magic 8 Ball that you ask to divine for you and give you your every care.

There are worldly comforts and there are Heavenly comforts. Most of us have to get used to Heavenly comforts. We are very used to worldly comforts. Stepping from one to the other takes some getting used to.

As I explained it to a friend of mine, it’s like if you go to your first 5 Star Hotel after being used to a Motel 6. Everything is immaculate. The service? Impeccable. Yet, it takes some getting used to.

That’s not to say everyone will be wealthy when they believe in God. That’s to say there are mature and immature tastes and it’s better to be a Christian unsatisfied than, as the saying goes, a pig satisfied.

The evil one is clever, to be sure. God your friendship with God is irreplaceable.

God Has Manners

God has manners.

Witness:

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Romans 3:20)

God has manners.

He’s not the typical guy you find on the street who drools and cat-calls. He’s not the ex-boyfriend who won’t leave you alone. He’s not the dude who doesn’t understand consent.

He simply knocks at the door. If you open it and let Him in, He will dine with you.

If you don’t want God in your life, you don’t have to open the door.

It’s really that simple.

What does this say about the nature of God? It means, at least in part, that God has enough self-esteem and respect for others not to impose Himself on people. God wants a real relationship with you, but will not intrude.

God has manners.

Pruning: An Essay

I start this essay off by telling you I’m no harlot. While it’s true I haven’t attended church in a year, there’s good, Christian reasons for that. I hope some of those reasons will come alive for you in this essay.

               I have spent most of my almost 40 years of life in church, however. One night, after looking for new church to attend, I began to bear fruit. What kind of fruit did I bear? I began pruning the Church. As night fell and I laid down ready for sleep, something came over me. It was God. I was being pruned by God! He was doing this so I may bear more fruit.

               This essay, I believe, is a portion of that fruit.

               But what am I even talking about? Why do I speak in riddles about pruning and fruit? It comes, of course, from the Bible. In John 15: 1-11, we see Jesus telling his disciples about bearing fruit:

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

               The last time I heard this passage read in church, it was a sermon about suffering. In that sermon, in a rather contorted way, the pastor said God makes us suffer so we will grow and bear fruit.

               Since that time, I have read further such interpretations.

               Contrary to those views, I take this as a very loving speech made by Jesus. It is also instructive in that it specifically tells us how to grow in Christ and seek a better union with God. Let us, then, examine this passage and meditate upon it.

               It’s not at all clear that a plant suffers when it is pruned. It’s almost specifically made to be pruned. That’s how it’ll bear more fruit! Fruit, of course, is necessary for propagation and, thus, even more fruit!

               When ancient peoples learned about pruning, they discovered how to produce more food for themselves and others. This was an innovative concept that brought about many things, including, according to my World History textbooks, the ability to settle in one place and not scavenge for food.

Why would a plant be made in such a way that, if one prunes it, it will produce more fruit? I cannot say I know the answer to that. But, for us, in this analogy, we are to be pruned so that we may mature, grow and produce our own fruits.

Jesus doesn’t say a thing about suffering in this passage. Instead, he explains how, when we are a part of Him, this is how we will come to bear fruit.

   Since a plant probably doesn’t suffer when it is pruned and Jesus says nothing about suffering in this passage, we can assume that the passage isn’t about suffering. It’s simply outlining how we can grow in Christ.

This is important.

Many people wish to know how to grow in Christ.

Every one of us has the capacity.

There’s probably more than what I will tell you in this essay about growing in Christ. But having been pruned by God, I’ll share with you the way it came for me so you may be able to use that knowledge for yourself.

2.

It started with me looking for a church to attend. I had been to churches before and wanted something new. Something different.

This wasn’t just a personal taste. I wanted, specifically, a church leader who will let their ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and their ‘no’ be ‘no’ (Matthew 5:37). This meant, of course, I was aiming for a direct line to God in my church leadership because this simple verse tells us that anything beyond letting one’s ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and their ‘no’ be ‘no’ comes from the evil one.

In all of this, I was pushing away evil.

With Matthew 5:37 in my mind, I prayed as I looked for churches online. I came to want a mature leadership in my church.

I told a friend of mine that I was seeking a new church and they said, “Go a few times and see if they remember you.”

I wasn’t looking for that in a church, though. Sure, it’s nice to be welcomed and remembered, but I really wanted something deeper. I wanted a church leader who would instruct me so I may grow in Christ.

As I grabbed ahold of Matthew 5:37 in my heart, the extraneous things started to fall away.

Most churches engage in sales and marketing tactics to grow their congregation.

I wasn’t looking for that.

I was looking for a church with many mature and sincerely-seeking members.

Sales and marketing tactics include: offering an insincere welcome, trying to remember your face and name, delivering cheesy sermons, among other things.

Clutching Matthew 5:37 in my heart, those things fell away. What was left was the heart of a church where members are free to grow and mature in Christ.

Later that night, I laid down to go to sleep. The Holy Spirit came over me. It was the most comforting and loving experience I ever had. I laid there in pure love and fell asleep.

The next morning, I woke up feeling wobbly. Not wobbly in my body. Wobbly in my soul.

I had been pruned! Pruned by God!

As I adjusted myself, I felt good because God thought I was bearing fruit and wanted me to bear more.

The experience after being pruned is like walking for the first time. None of us probably remember taking our first steps, but there’s a new freedom of movement that happens. A new dignity and power. At first, we wobble around, holding onto the couch and side tables for support. Then, off we go, taking our first wobbly step.

That’s how I felt after being pruned by God.

But why would God prune me? What kind of fruit was I bearing that He wanted more?

I was, it seems, pruning the Church!

When we clip away the extraneous, unnecessary things—the things that take away from the True Vine—we are pruning. I just so happened to be pruning the church as I sought one to attend. By keeping Matthew 5:37 in my heart, I was snipping away at anything from the evil one.

The evil one, it is typically said, is Satan. In my pruning, I was clipping away anything from Satan and leaving the rest—the True Vine—to bear fruit.

This is the kind of thing God wants! He wants us to be vinedressers like He is!

Note that when God pruned me—and when I pruned the Church—this wasn’t punishment or suffering. I wanted a mature church with no hint of the evil one because not only did I want to grow in Christ, I wanted to commune with other mature believers.

God’s pruning was done in love. Sure, I felt wobbly in my soul. But I knew I would adjust. And the feeling that I had pleased God through some actions was incredible.

God prunes where there is fruit growing. We each can take the first steps to produce fruit by keeping scripture sincerely in our hearts, praying, and looking to become more mature in Christ and seeking to be with fellow mature believers.

Note that I held firmly to the scripture when I was pruning. I wasn’t being critical for the sake of being critical. I also wasn’t stepping outside the Church in order to offer complaints. Rather, from within the truth of the Bible, I found myself clipping away at unnecessary things found in church.

If you wish to prune anything, you must do this very thing. Keep God’s goodness in your heart. Hold it steadfast. Everything extraneous will appear to you and the True Vine will be revealed.

This act is much different from criticizing for the sake of mere criticism.

A lot of people criticize the Church, but they do not hold the scripture in their hearts while doing it. In fact, they may not even care about the utter destruction of the Church at all.

But when you are pruning, you are seeking to propagate more of the good. The entire purpose is to bear more fruit. Pruning a plant is different from manicuring a plant or simply whopping it down. Pruning focuses on the fruit bearing portions and seeks to reproduce them so there will be more fruit.

 I wasn’t punishing the Church at all. On the very contrary, I was looking for a church home where I may truly grow in Christ. In doing that, I was looking for the real goods—the goods that are of God and not of Satan.

3.

Pruning is an act of love. There is, in fact, a long tradition of sincere and mature believers who pruned the Church. One such person is Soren Kierkegaard. Kierkegaard, a philosopher during the Danish Golden Age, took Christiandom to task on many things. And he did this as a Christian. His entire project, we may say, was the renew Christian faith within Christiandom. Kierkegaard wrote an enormous amount—and even offered contrasting interpretations of scripture than what was so often told in church. He developed entirely new concepts and is considered the Father of Existentialism.

Kierkegaard was a pruner.

In this way, we may join the collection of pruners within Christianity to bear God’s good fruit in the world.

When you go about pruning—whether it’s a person or a body such as the Church—you will not be relying merely on your own understanding. In Proverbs 3: 5-6, we learn the following:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

  In pruning, you will not be leaning on your own understanding. Instead, you will take a bit of the true word of God in your heart. This will make your aim straight. You will come about whatever needs pruning, and as you hold the scripture in your heart, the extraneous branches will appear to you.   

               The entire act of pruning is done in the spirit of the Lord. It’s not about your comfort. Some branches may appear to you that have been a source of comfort for a long time. Remember, though, that Satan can disguise Himself as comforting. In fact, seeking sheer comforts of the world may, in fact, be the very thing the evil one wants.

               This does not mean that God wants us uncomfortable! Instead, He wants a mature walk with us. That is, in fact, what this entire essay is about. You must trust that you will grow and God will carry you to a level where you are not particularly suffering. But growing may make you wobbly—just as I was when I was pruned.

               In my own pruning, I found that feel-good messages told in church have stunted believers, including myself. When God was pruning me, He was preparing me for a better walk with Him; a mature walk.

4.

I have taken spiritual inventories in the past. Let me simply tell you, the results haven’t been good to my ears. Two of my spiritual gifts are prophecy and evangelism. I did not want to hear this! It was never my place, to my mind, to offer and interpret the Word. Yet, here I am. That is exactly what I am doing!

               God’s purpose in our lives is often a mystery until we take the first step God guides us with. If you go about pruning, God may lead you to places you never thought you would be.

               I have written things before, but I never thought I would be a Christian writer. I most certainly never thought I would be instructing people as to how to mature in Christ.

               If you take a spiritual gifts inventory, be sincere in your answers. You may not like the results. But it’s best to know your true spiritual gifts—for God will use them!

               If you think that the number of days you spent in church or the number of years you’ve been a Christian count toward maturity, think again. This very essay is about how to grow in Christ and it has nothing to do with time in church. In fact, if you have spent years in a church that needs pruning, you may in fact be stunted in your growth, as I was.

               There is no limit to how much you can grow in Christ. Every day is a challenge. I have found that going with the spiritual flow rather than the flow of the world gets one to a better understanding and a closer relationship with God.

               In the end, maturing in God is about seeking the Lord, first, and performing Godly actions, second. The more bold you become in your Godly actions, like pruning, the more mature you will become in Christ.

5.

A word about suffering.

Since the passage about the True Vine is often taken to be about suffering, let us discuss suffering in the world.

Christians, for a very long time, have been perplexed and have offered various understandings of the problem of suffering.

I have a philosophy background. In philosophy, this problem is typically known as the Problem of Evil. In short, the question is: Why, if God is all-knowing, all-powerful and all-good, does He allow evil and suffering in the world? Clearly, He knows about it. Also, He’s against it and could do something about it.

The Problem of Evil is often taken to be an argument against the existence of God.

Let me offer a different interpretation of the problem.

If you are a Christian, you must believe in evil. Specifically, you believe in Satan. Satan, according to Christians, is the source of evil.

God could be an authoritarian and come in to rid the world of all suffering and evil. But that would leave us stunted in our growth.

Instead, I offer this: Why, if there is evil and suffering in the world, do we allow it?

According to most Christian traditions, we have free will. So, we can do something about evil. Also according to most Christian traditions, we are born with the ability to be virtuous and good. And, clearly, because many people discuss evil things in the world, we know about many of them.

Why don’t we stop them?

Keeping your eye on God and holding steadfast to scripture when you are pruning is, in fact, a way of ridding the world of evil and unveiling the goodness of God. It also encourages your own personal growth and maturity. God wants mature believers. Believers who act and do things. God wants believers who bear fruit.

I hope this short essay has aided in the instruction of maturity so you may grow in Christ. Remember, this is a two-way street. We have to do our part. When we do, we will be blessed with a deeper relationship with the Creator.

In the end, that’s what this is all supposed to be about.

[This essay was initially published on Amazon for .99 cents and can still be found as such here.]

Pruning the Church is an Act of Love

I have written about how some churches engage in an inordinate amount of sales and marketing tactics. I reflected upon this last night.

Snipping away the extraneous things and getting to the core (in my case, seeking a spiritual leader who will let their yes be yes and their no be no (Matthew 5:37)), isn’t a harsh and unloving undertaking. Instead, I think it’s an act of love.

Jesus said to his disciples:


I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

John 15 1-11

Many people take this passage to mean that we will suffer and our suffering is part of God’s love for us.

I don’t think that’s the case.

It’s not clear that a plant suffers when it is pruned. And as we know, when we physically grow, the may be some difference and occasional discomfort, but it isn’t typically suffering.

Think of my previous post about finding the right church as pruning. I am, in fact, pruning the church.

When you prune, as Jesus indicates, you take away the extraneous branches and what’s left will bear fruit. In all of this, I come from a long line of Christians who sometimes prune the church. One such person is Soren Kierkegaard. He wrote passionately against certain things in Christiandom from within Christianity.

If God’s pruning is an act of love, so too is mine.

When you take away the extraneous things from the church, like purely feel good messages, sales and marketing, you will find yourself free to grow and bear fruit.

Seek first the Lord. Don’t worry about the size of your congregation, or the feel good message you will hear at church. Don’t even worry if they don’t remember you the first few times you attend. You are there to participate in worship and commune with God.

The freedom of growth is an outstanding thing. Rather than being decrepit and snarled up, you will be able to “stand straight.”

There’s a difference between pruning and simply whacking a bush–or even manicuring a bush. Pruning is intentional, focused and purposeful. It aims at the true good and wishes to bear fruit. Keep this in mind if you feel like simply being critical. Being critical is not pruning.

I hope to see a community of believers who are mature and truly focused on God. I hope to see virtuous souls aiming to be in union with God. I hope to see people who take Jesus as their role model and actively work daily to be such.

None of that is critical for the sake of being critical.

When you think of pruning, you must take as your aim the One True God. If you do that, you will reveal the true vine in your life and will be acting with love. This, as Jesus says, will make whatever you pruned bear fruit.

Finding the Right Church

I decided over the past few weeks that I’ll be looking for a church home. Finding a church is a cumbersome undertaking that I have simply put off.

But the time has come, so I’ve been looking.

When you are seeking a church, the first thing you want to do is to narrow down the denomination that suits you. You may look for a social outlook that fits your considered concept of spirituality. In my case, because I really like the Pope and his service to people–including the destitute and sick–I have chose to go with a Catholic church.

When I told a friend of mine I was going to attend a new church, they said, “Go a few times and see if they remember you.”

To be honest, that’s not what I’m looking for in a church. Sure, it’s nice to be welcomed and remembered, but I want something deeper.

Too often, churches get caught up in growing their congregation and thus utilize basic and cheesy marketing–like remembering you and offering a welcome.

If the church is genuine about these things, great. But what’s much more important to me is a church leader who will let their yes be yes and their no be no. Frequently, ministers put out messages that won’t offend people. They make their message accommodate as many people as possible.

I’m not looking for that.

Instead, I’m looking for a spiritual leader who is mature in their faith. I want someone who is really going to instruct me so I may grow in Christ. Moreover, I want a congregation in which there are many mature and sincerely seeking members.

What I’m not looking for in a church is one that is going to tow the typical Christian party line. If something is unjust, like putting immigrant children in camps, I want my church to say so. If something is acceptable in God’s eyes, like being gay, I want my church to say so.

I’m not looking for “cheesy feels.” I’m looking for a community that truly seeks the Lord and wishes to grow together in faith.

If you are looking for a church, I hope this may help you look for the right one. Remember, it’s not about your comfort necessarily. It’s about your relationship with the Creator. In this most important of things, you want to choose well and wisely.