We are all too often confronted by status quo Christianity when looking for a church home. A person can – if they look hard enough – find one to suit their tastes.
Although I hung around with other professional actors, artists, and writers, I never engaged with them in their shenanigans and, in fact, often shared my faith with them instead. While they were groping for a meaningful life, I was firmly grounded in my faith in God. Although I was an actor, I was also a Baptist who attended Beverly Hills Baptist Church. During that time, I also attended Hollywood Presbyterian on occasion as well. Dr. Lloyd John Ogilvy was a favorite in those days, as was Dr. D. James Kennedy, late pastor of Ft. Lauderdale Presbyterian – Florida being my home base. Besides these two Presbyterian churches, I have rarely gone outside the Baptist church for instruction.
Because of Baptist church Doctrine and their emphasis on Bible study, I have been able to grow in faith – the Bible always being my mainstay. The Bible has been my sole guide throughout my entire Christian life; it has always been the determining factor in choosing a place to worship as well. The Calvary Chapel church had been a place to worship during my travels. However, I’ve finally seen and determined that NO church is perfect, and the reason for that is simply because we human beings are so diverse in thought and character that we must, out of necessity, find a place to suit us individually. However, many people view church attendance as though it were a social club of some kind – especially in Florida.
But recently, I read the glossy and well-written “Epistle” magazine available to visitors and those who are members of First Presbyterian Church of Bonita Beach. It made me aware that it offered all the things I was looking for in a church home.
The members there spare no expense in keeping the beautiful sanctuary clean and orderly. This is a classy place. I am impressed by the atmosphere as well – where solemnity prevails during church services. Stained glass windows top the sanctuary, adding to the aesthetics, and there is even an organ and piano. There are also Bell ringers who wear white gloves playing beautiful music on occasion – under the direction of a skillful conductor – an indication that there is a degree of reverential elegance within its walls. The place is teaming with potential, with something for everyone.
This church body is big with over a thousand members – which is also to my liking. That should tell you the responsibility that accompanies such a large congregation; nevertheless, the lead pastor is well up to the task. Articulate, outgoing, and scholarly, pastor Doug Pratt projects competence and organization skills. In fact, all six pastors are, without question, committed to their calling.
There is much to like about First Presbyterian of Bonita Beach, and I happen to like the solemnity, respect for the things of God, and worshipful atmosphere. But I primarily like that it is “a biblically-centered church in the Presbyterian Fellowship,” as is stated on the back of their two-sided business card. I will become a full-fledged member this coming Sunday and hope to be active in some capacity.
Except for the lack of an altar call at the end of the service, you would think you were in an old-fashioned Baptist Church where Christians take their faith and reverence of God seriously.
For me, the timing couldn’t be better since we are living in a time of confusion where the country is being run by lawless and seriously disturbed people who abide by the rules of the jungle depicted in Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky. This little poison-filled book is a favorite of the left, and it has drastically changed our country for the worse. Because of this evil little tome, the radical populous is in a state of confusion and is embracing murder, suicide, and drug addiction, while perverts and assorted criminals run amuck in Washington D.C. This devil-inspired little book has bred a leadership that “wins” its victories with deceit, theft, and lies.
Jesus said, “Satan is the father of lies.” One of the primary tenants of this little book is to accuse the opposition of the very things the leftists themselves are doing, and the people in charge of our society have been using that strategy to cripple our way of life. Albeit anyone with a sound mind can see the effects Satanic thought has had on mankind, turning them into puppets who don’t know the difference between a man and a woman, nor the sanctity of life, to say nothing of the hopelessness and futility of humanistic philosophy that only leads to desperation.
One must only look at the results of Godless societies that have forsaken God’s Word to see that such a society wallows in fear and hopelessness. China, Cuba, Russia, Ukraine, Venezuela, Haiti, and many South African nations are examples resulting from such folly.
Satan would win the day if it weren’t for Christianity and a church like this one, which teaches Biblical principles and directives. It is a comfort to know that we can still find solace and peace in a world gone mad. We should thank God for His Word and place to gather and worship Him as we should – in a place that exalts Him.
Even though he is a little too full of himself, Eric Metaxas is one of the best writers ever. The title of his latest book, Is Atheism Dead? is a play on words. (Remember when “God is Dead” was emblazoned on magazines throughout the country back in the late sixties and early seventies?) Well, the paradigm has changed, and now with new archeological discoveries, the Bible is proving to be true in its written history.