We believe that much modern behavior of young people, which is universally and immediately criticized and condemned by most Churches, may be compatible with Christian beliefs. We believe that we (and everyone else) should consider each individual and each situation rather than passing broad judgments on behavior that might be considered questionable in many Christian circles. Basically, we believe that many Churches have created for themselves a broad set of dogmatic rules, which automatically condemn many thoughts, behaviors and attitudes. We believe that the Lord considers the MOTIVATION behind all our actions, as well as the actions themselves.
We feel that there are some young women who wear jewelry and makeup for "slutty" reasons, and we think Jesus would likely be very critical of them. But we feel that there are other young women who may simply feel a better self-image by wearing some jewelry and/or makeup. We think that Jesus would likely give an "Attagirl" to such a woman! (Well, maybe in a classier way than that!) Our point is WHY should any Church feel that it has the right or authority to condemn BOTH women referred to here? We think that He would LISTEN to each to see what the REASONS were that she was using, and then respond to those reasons and NOT due to the superficial behavior or appearance. We think THAT makes sense in the realm of what Christianity claims to be!
We believe that Jesus left us a perfect example of how we should treat each other and the world. The REASONS behind our thinking and actions are extremely important in living a Christian life. Our weekly On-Line Services often discuss such subjects. At the conclusion of the Service, you'll have an opportunity to talk and socialize with the Pastor and others in the congregation.
We take notice that He was considered quite a "rebel" by the authorities of His time.
Except for basic Christian beliefs, we have little in the way of "official rules" of behavior (called dogma). We believe that Jesus would have considered each person and each situation on the specific merits present, and would have responded in a unique way for that situation. As representatives of His Church, we feel that we are called to have the same approach. Rather than preaching "absolutes" in many areas of behavior, we choose to listen first, BEFORE expressing judgement! This seems unusual in modern Christian Churches, but we believe it to be the way Jesus would have responded.
This does NOT mean that we do or would condone irresponsible or irrational behaviors. It means that we will always try to have an open mind to listen to the points a person might make for or against a certain concept or action.
For example, in a conflict between two people, we often imagine a family living room with three comfortable chairs, for the two adversaries and for Jesus. Knowing how Patient and Thoughtful and Tolerant He is, we think that He would sit quietly while each of the two calmly presented their cases to Him (and absolutely NOT at each other!). Once each had had plenty of time to present their whole case, we think that His first comment would be that He Loved them both! With His infinite Knowledge and Judgment, He would have some remarkable insight to offer the two, but we doubt that He would outright say that either was absolutely wrong. We think that He might point out correct statements that each had made. We suspect that He would have incredibly insightful questions to ask each of them, such that each might see that they had jumped to some conclusions.
In that way, rather than "ordering" either of them to correct some thought or behavior, we think He would find a Loving way of helping them find the resolution on their own.
OK! Think about this for a moment! After the two had made a calm and rational presentation to Jesus (after all, would anyone be yelling and screaming at Him?), rather than giving final judgment on the matter, we think He would inspire the two to look for new insights on their own. The people involved actually do all the work at finding the resolution! So, whether that third chair in the room actually has Jesus sitting in it, or if we just proceed as though He is there, we can resolve many, many situations. No extensive list of legalistic rules or dogma are even needed!
OK! Our Ministry are nowhere near as smart as Jesus! But, considering the approach described above, we think we can generally manage to be His representative in such "conversations".
In our opinion, too many modern Churches (and other religions) are far too quick to judge blame and invoke punishment, based on a very generalized set of rules that was originally meant as a set of guidelines. We are trying to operate our Church in what we believe to be a more Christian manner!
In any case, Jesus welcomes you to us with His ever-lasting love!
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We at A Christ Walk Church think THAT'S RIDICULOUS! We think that those Churches have forgotten that Jesus acted, thought, and dressed differently from most people of His day, and that He was considered a real "rebel" by the authorities of His time.
We DO TOTALLY believe in Jesus, the Bible, salvation, sin, and all that stuff! We cut no slack on those matters of Christian belief! It's just that we believe that we (and everyone else) should consider EACH PERSON AND EACH SITUATION on its own merits and negatives. (The Lord does!) We just believe that there should be an attitude of compassion and understanding in applying Scripture and Jesus' teachings to our lives. A Church that truly represents Jesus should NOT be rigid and inflexible on some social behaviors, but SHOULD be strict in pursuing a proper Christian Walk in it's Congregation members.
Much of what we expect to focus on in A Christ Walk Church's Youth Ministry, are situations, subjects and events that occur in the lives of young people in modern society. After our structured service, we will open up a "chat rooms" so that our Youth Ministry staff (who are generally pretty COOL people!) can have conversations and discussions with visitors and Congregation members. We intend to be pretty flexible and open about the subjects of these chat sessions. (Keep in mind though that this IS a Church, and that language and manners should be civilized.) We expect to have lively, non-judgmental Christian-motivated discussions on such topics as: rock music, dancing, tattoos, drinking, making out, body piercings, rebellion, parents, dating, school, friends, brothers and sisters, racism, money, work, chores, drugs, weapons and many other such areas. From time to time, we hope to invite experts in some of these area to join us on-line to help ALL of us learn more about these sometimes controversial subjects.
We will NOT generally come to absolute conclusions about most of these subjects. Hopefully, we will NOT be spouting dogmatic garbage about how WE want you to behave. Hopefully, we WILL encourage you to think about your motivations (and the motivations of others involved) during such situations. If you ultimately believe that you are on solid Christian ground in that situation, then we're probably with you!
We expect to discuss, both in our Messages during our Service and in the following chat room discussions, many different possible reactions or responses to situations we face every day. We expect to find that some responses are probably best, but that many alternate responses MIGHT ALSO BE VALID, if justified by Christian-acceptable motives.
We at A Christ Walk Church imagine that Jesus was probably often misunderstood and regularly judgmentally criticized for acting and thinking differently than most people. Was He wrong? We don't THINK so! Were His critics wrong? You BET! We wonder at how difficult His life would be if He was physically alive in today's society. Imagine the heckling and razzing. Imagine how often He would be threatened at school for His lunch money, or harassed by the cops for wearing weird clothes. Get the point? We just think that many Churches automatically criticize young people's activities just because they're "out of touch" and just don't want to address many aspects of life in the modern world. Those churches aren't BAD, just un-informed.
We hope to partly solve that situation. Some of our Youth Ministry LISTEN to rock and roll music. Pastor Carl of the Church happens to really like a lot of heavy metal! They should be able to discuss with you the lyrics of individual songs. They should be able to intelligently discuss many of those controversial subjects listed above; subjects that you might not feel comfortable discussing with an "old codger" Minister or a parent or teacher or counselor or anyone else. It is our hope that some member of our Youth Ministry staff could eventually become a FRIEND who you could discuss ANYTHING with! Then, with the Holy Spirit guiding our staff member, we might be able to help you see new hope or a new perspective in some "hopeless" or complicated situation. Of course, we also hope that you would realize that Jesus and His teachings represents the ultimate answer to ALL our problems.
Many people grumble regularly about the state of modern society. We believe that by recognizing, studying, practicing and demonstrating the Christian characteristics listed below, 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. 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 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 studying 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 based on Christian beliefs. The theory is, that by teaching proper Scripture-inspired motivation and behavior to young people, 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 (including their children) 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. What a deal!
The added aspect of accountability in behavior often reduces 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 find 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 that God sees the difference.
We have a similar belief regarding 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.
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 addition, He often finds ways of rewarding such behavior.
Our actual beliefs are similar to and compatible with the beliefs of most other modern non-denominational Christian Churches. Of the many teachings included in the Bible, we just emphasize an additional area that many other Churches are passive on, that of His actions and behavior while He was on Earth. We also try to be non-judgmental, tolerant, understanding, and compassionate, just like we teach others to be!
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A Christ Walk Church is always interested in clergy members who would like to help in our efforts. Please contact us by E-mail to discuss the possibilities.
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