Introducing mildly nutty Darron

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Darron Steele, Jul 7, 2006.

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  1. Darron Steele

    Darron Steele
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    My name: Darron Steele. My birth date: July 14, 1976. I graduated from a small rural high school in southeastern Indiana in 1995 with honors. I ran track and cross country all four years. My first year of high school track I did not beat a single other boy, but by my junior year I was considered someone to beat if another runner wanted to score. My senior year I was one of three boys to win Academic All-State Honorable Mention from my high school in cross country. We were the only school in our size class to have this many; most schools had none. In track we were the first boys' team from our high school to win our county meet in the 40+ years it had been held. In college I went on to finish second in four college track meets, was a scorer on a cross country team that was the first to sweep an invitational with the women's team, and for a men's program that as an NCAA Division III school beat a quarter of our Division I opponents at least once. My college men's cross country team was also designated an Academic All-American team.

    Although I was drug to two local Church of Christ congregations for two years by parental compulsion, I was a hard-core atheist for two years. I was of the positivist stripe. In this form, a person believes that natural science will provide humankind with the ability to understand the cosmos and eliminate the relevance of religion. I believed that religion was a primeval instinct to give people a sense of security about a universe they cannot understand by putting quasi-personal beings in charge. In late April of 1993 I accepted the likely existence of `at least one god.' I accepted the Gospel on June 17, 1993 at an independent "fundamental" Baptist church. I was baptized November 14 of that year. I attended that church for five years, and in that time I intensely studied the Scriptures both in and out of church contexts because I recognized it as God’s Book.

    In August of 1994 I travelled to Bogota, Colombia and the Amazon region of Brazil where Brazil, Colombia, and Peru meet on a Missionary Apprentice Program group under the auspices of ABWE = Association of Baptists for Worldwide Evangelism. There I learned firsthand just how dangerous and uncomfortable mission work is in third world Latin American countries. I also learned that the Spanish I studied since 1991 in high school could actually be used to communicate with people who speak Spanish and with people who speak Portuguese.
     
  2. Darron Steele

    Darron Steele
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    College, Church of Christ round 1, Pentecostalism
    I graduated from college with a Bachelor's degree in mathematics supplemented by a minor in physics in 1999. During my college years, I developed an intense interest in Christian apologetics and did extensive research and writing on my own. I was well-known for being a creationist. I was considered someone to go to for Bible questions as well as among the general Christian population. In the 1997-8 school year I acquired some Spanish translations in order to get a different perspective on the original languages of Scripture by reading how they translate into the grammatical constructions, verb tenses, and word-meaning matchups of Spanish. In the summer of 1998 I found out that I could read Portuguese and secured Bible translations in that language also for the same reasons. This has been very informative.

    In 1998-9 I was drawn to a Church of Christ congregation nearby which spoke of Scripture the way I thought it should be, but the words “toxic” and “poisonous” just about described that church -- experiences narrated:
    http://makephpbb.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=15182&highlight=&mforum=members#15182
    Mon Mar 13, 2006 9:31 pm
    http://makephpbb.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=15255&highlight=&mforum=members#15255
    Tue Mar 14, 2006 8:02 pm my next post there is also interesting.
    http://makephpbb.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=464&mforum=members
    Mon Feb 20, 2006 11:32 pm
    http://makephpbb.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=602&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15&mforum=members
    Sat May 13, 2006 12:21 pm
    I finally realized that although the lip service to Scripture was great, the basic principles of Scripture were blatantly set aside. Literature passed out by that church indicated that it was not the only one of its kind. I left that church in disgust in August of 1999. It made me an `ex-er.'

    About a year after graduation, I decided that I really want to teach. I had been substitute teaching and was among the first called for several grades 7-12 schools. In autumn of 2000 I enrolled at a college in the inside of Indianapolis. I finished my teaching licensure courses and did my high shool student teaching in the notorious Indianapolis Public Schools -- not to be mistaken for township/suburb schools also in Indianapolis -- and my middle school experience was at a Catholic K-8 school. During my time in teaching licensure I grew out of a lot of my `black/white' thinking as far as what is a `church that should be attended' -- before that I believed in cooperation but not visiting attendence. There are very few churches recognizing Jesus as Lord that I would avoid now -- never for doctrinal reasons but only for ethics/moral reasons.

    After leaving the hard-line Church of Christ I described, I drifted churches not staying in one for more than several months. I began teaching high school full-time and did so for two years. In my first year, I began attending an Assembly of God. No I do not speak in tongues nor have I ever. I attended that church for two years. Despite being a terrible actor, I was asked to be in their drama ministry and did so. For the 2003 Easter drama I was actually asked to do a double character: in the first part I was a member of the Sanhedrin who tried to defend Jesus, and after the plot to kill Him is finalized, my first character was done and I was to change costumes to become one of the Roman soldiers who crucified Him. This was not due to talent but rather the fact that they knew I would do it. During my time in this church I was also involved in youth ministry at a Methodist church because one of my friends was its director.

    In summer of 2004 I had too much trouble with what I saw and see as `excesses' in Pentecostalism to be comfortable having such churches for church home. This is not to be taken as meaning that I never visit Pentecostal churches or that I have ill-will toward Pentecostalism or its adherents -- just that I disagree and this is strictly a matter of church home.
     
    #2 Darron Steele, Jul 7, 2006
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  3. Darron Steele

    Darron Steele
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    Professional Decisions, Church of Christ Round 2
    I originally entered teaching because I wanted to help people learn. When I was in school, this was what teaching was about. However, by the time I was teaching in 2002, most of high school/middle school `teaching' had little to do with helping anyone learn. I was not very good with the non-instructional things and paid too much attention to the teaching anyway. I got sick of the nonsense, realized it was only going to get worse, and decided I would be an idiot to put 30 years into this when I had options.

    I found a good Church of Christ congregation in July of 2004. It is the Church of Christ at Milan www.milanchurch.com -- I drive by another one to get to it. I was looking for a Baptist church or a good Church of Christ to attend. I had heard of the latter. I realized that if there was a good one near me, it would most likely be in a certain community. I checked it out the first time on a VBS night and swung by a Baptist church instead. After services, I went back to that church to get acquainted with whomever, and the next night I was back to work in their VBS for fifth/sixth grade as a helper. I have been there ever since. What draws me to good Churches of Christ is the Restoration principle “Where Scripture speaks, we speak; where Scripture is silent we are silent” which if done right can be unifying. I also believe baptism should accompany salvation.
     
    #3 Darron Steele, Jul 7, 2006
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  4. Darron Steele

    Darron Steele
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    Life with and among children
    I decided to get a graduate degree to teach community college, and in the meantime substitute teach and work a retail job. The only regular substitute teaching I could get was at an elementary school. I hated children. I wanted as little to do with them as possible. To me, they were worse than a nuisance. I hated to take the first date that I did. Well, I thought I hated children, but if I really did, they could not tell. They magnetized to me. It was strange. My first date was second grade on September 17, 2004. To be brief, they grew on me and my heart opened to them, and within 200 hours by the end of the day September 24, 2004 I absolutely loved children and wanted to have as much time with them as possible. In March of 2005 I was promoted to a part-time position at one of the schools. The two years I have been involved with elementary school children has been the most educational experience of my life -- there is so much to learn from children, and I also learned a lot because of dealing with them. In a lot of ways, I am not so sure I am all that different from them.

    In July of 2005 I followed this up by being a Vacation Bible School teacher for third grade at a Baptist church local to that school. It was the best experience of my life. I actually had a rare but serious medical condition which I hid and still do not want to give specifics of. Out of 300-400 with the condition, only five or six might ever escape the condition, and I am one of them. It happened in the euphoric buzz of sharing the Gospel with third graders very dear to me that lasted for VBS and two weeks afterward. The doctor and I suspect that the extended period of sheer joy helped catalyze my body to recover after being initiated by a year of less-pronounced joy. Of course, I recognize divine assistance to that process.
     
    #4 Darron Steele, Jul 7, 2006
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  5. Darron Steele

    Darron Steele
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    Teaching college and my religious `centrations'
    I was given a part-time position teaching at a college teaching 0-hundred level courses in fall of 2005. I still substitute taught at that elementary school and continued to work the retail job. During that time I developed a fraction conversion method for adding and subtracting that is very different from the normal algorithm. I created it from desperation to help desperate older non-traditional mathematics students -- the standard method just was not working at all, and those students saw math as the barrier between them and a life-improving degree. With the new method, students who have for 20 years been literally terrorized by fractions now consider them only a nuisance. I have written a paper for general distribution outlining that method and I want whomever wants it to have a copy. Students who see my new way never want to see the old way ever again. For spring of 2006 a second college picked me up. I had fifteen hours between the two, which is heavier than most full-time professors' loads at most colleges. I am teaching for both colleges again this summer. I have an unorthodox teaching style of being perky, goofy, and light-hearted which entertains students and usually keeps them relaxed. The school year has ended, so my substitute teaching has come to an end. I will be in the Vacation Bible Schools of that Baptist church south of me by the school and in the VBS of my Church of Christ to my north -- I will be doing this double duty this month in July, will be exhausted, and can hardly wait.:)

    Where I will go to graduate school has not been determined yet. I have already been admitted to two universities -- one of which I have eliminated -- and other applications are pending.

    My fascinations in religion are New Testament Scripture, soteriology, and Christian unity. Soteriology is the doctrine of salvation. About the latter, ever since I got saved, I have wondered why Christians often do not want to cooperate with each other and look for reasons not to. Why do so many of us not want to work together as much as possible to better serve the Christ we follow? Well, I like to address that. A good starting point is to remember that Greek underlying “church” is transliterated “ekklesia” and refers to `assembly of people called out.’ Hence, as my wise mother pointed out years ago to me, people make a church -- and I have observed that under this Greek definition, doctrine does not make a church. About the Scriptures, the more I have studied the New Testament, the more complex I have seen it to be, the more I have seen how it can be misunderstood in part by anyone, and the more I have learned to respect other interpretations among Christians in general. I believe everything I believe to be true, but I do not believe Scripture authorizes me to have an overall divisive or mean-spirited demeanor regarding my convictions.

    I dream of a future where most Churches of Christ recognize all of the New Testament to be binding on everyone including themselves. In this future, Churches of Christ will not be known for breaking the ethical principles of Scripture, and Churches of Christ will assume that anyone who believes and follows the Lord Jesus Christ is a Christian, and will do their best to cooperate with the rest of the Christian world in serving the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Yes -- you probably read that right.
    No -- you are not just seeing things.
    I hope you were not overwhelmed by the shock of seeing the above paragraph from a person in the Churches of Christ.

    I apologize for the long introduction, but I get told often that I am so unique that there is a lot to me in order to understand me. As for what I am doing here: I may attend a Church of Christ, but my loyalty is to Christ and doing and teaching as the Word of God says to. I have learned the Scriptures in numerous settings, including my first few years in a Baptist church, so I know that I have a number of things in common with Baptists both in experience and in doctrine.:thumbs:

    ---
    I get a lot of confusion on my baptism stance. In a nutshell, I believe that we are saved by faith which produces repentance and an attitude of obedience. I believe that once this occurs a person is saved. However, I believe that a specific fruit of this true conversion is an active willingness to be baptized. I believe that a real convert is saved before completed baptism, but I believe that a person who evades baptism demonstrates that s/he is not a true convert and is not saved. Details and reasons can be found in my baptism paper on www.geocities.com/steeledl/ . If you wish, we can discuss on another thread.
     
    #5 Darron Steele, Jul 7, 2006
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  6. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill
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    Welcome from the Great Pacific Northwest.:wavey:
     
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