Personal testimony of salvation and calling to ministry?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by righteousdude2, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
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    I have a personal testimony of the events leading up to my rebirth ... I can also tell you the date, and that it was late in the afternoon. So what would you think of a pastor who refuses to share when and more importantly, what led to his asking Jesus to forgive his sin and be his Lord and Savior? The same is true when it comes to my calling to pastor. And I've never been ashamed or hesitant to share it when questioned!

    I get that most folks don't remember when they may have came to Jesus, but I do find it somewhat suspect when a pastor "refuses" to even discuss what led to his being saved?

    I ask this because the pastor in question is my nephew, a former Roman Catholic. And when I found out he was "a believer" and in the ministry ... well, I was excited and wanted to hear what led him to come to Jesus as well as what caused him to know he was called to pastor.

    Don't get me wrong, he's a great man, but after his telling me to "drop it" when it came to his testimony, because it was none of my business; I not only lost my excitement in his call to the Kingdom as well as his calling to the ministry, but, I am now in doubt of him being saved as well as being called. He is ordained by a non denominational group that has its own on line Bible school course leading to ordination.

    When I attempted to talk to the guy who ordained my nephew, I got the same cold shoulder response. :tear:

    So my question is, am I being too hard on him? Or should I be questioning this since he seems to lack the ability to give any accounting to his salvation and call to the ministry?

    I would appreciate your thoughts .... thanks a lot. :type:
     
  2. Zaac

    Zaac
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    Too many question marks. I'd be driven to ask how well you know your nephew and how well does he know you? Has there been a relationship?

    He may just not want you to know. Does he follow you on BB? If so, that would explain a lot. :laugh:

    Has your life before him been lived in such a way that you have earned the right as a Man of GOD to ask him? Because if all he has seen is hypocrisy and meanness and nastiness and someone who doesn't seem to want to help anyone who doesn't share his POV...if he hasn't seen the love of Jesus for Jesus and others flowing from you, then he may feel as though you lack a platform from which to ask him anything.

    And in so, he is possibly trying to be respectful and keep from going off on you.

    Just some thoughts.
     
  3. Servent

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    most folks I know are excited to share there testimony. I know I am, I have even shared it here before.
     
  4. Zaac

    Zaac
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    A lot of folks are. But if you're dealing with a family member who has been everything but Godly( not saying RD has been because I don't know his relationship with his nephew) and you know it, it makes it rather difficult to accept that person daring to ask you anything about your relationship with Christ as though he, in his unGodliness, is now gonna bond with you and disciple you.

    It would come across as a schtick and an unbelievable one at that.
     
  5. righteousdude2

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    Well thanks for your "glowing" endorsement. I'm not sure if I should jump with joy, or just jump :laugh: you always have a way with words, mixed in with your well hidden agenda. :smilewinkgrin:
     
  6. Use of Time

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    I don't know RD2, there could be several reasons for not sharing. The events leading up to his salvation could have involved someone or something that he feels obligated to keep to himself at their request perhaps? Just don't push too hard.
     
  7. JamesL

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    Just a possibility....
    Maybe a disconnect in the verbiage?

    For example, when I submitted request for membership at SBC church, I knew ahead of time that there would be a vote. But before that, the pastor would ask me a few questions. I had heard him ask these questions before.

    So, I approached him and asked him (very gently) to not ask me unscriptural questions like when did I ask Jesus to come into my heart, etc.

    So he was careful to ask me questions in the manner of "when did you first trust Jesus"

    Is it possible that the nephew knows there would be a major disagreement if a dialogue ensues?

    Hard to judge without more context
     
  8. Baptist Believer

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    Baptists, at least since the revivalist era, tend to think of conversion as a singular event - a crisis point - instead of a process.

    In other Christian traditions, persons who are raised in the church may take consistent and regular steps of obedience toward God and be reborn without a single "crisis" event that stands out much more than the rest.

    Even with those who both expect and experience the "crisis" event we identify as coming to faith, there are often a long series of times when we consciously decided to choose Christ in other faith steps of a growing and vibrant life. My own conversion was a two-step process that was separated by about events a little over two weeks apart. I was confronted with the call to follow Jesus at a time where I had first understood the extreme basics of the call of God on my life and I said yes. At that time, I was under great pressure to be converted from human agencies and processes. Through the next two weeks, I wrestled with what it would mean to cast my fate with Jesus, and I reconfirmed my initial commitment before my local church.

    About seven years later, I followed God's call to a much deeper level of commitment and life has been a series of steps toward God sense.

    When was I saved? Before the foundations of the world? Maybe. When Jesus died on the cross and was raised? Maybe. When I first believed in God with my mind and my actions? Maybe. When I formally confirmed it before others? Maybe. When I made deeper commitments? Maybe. When my body shall cease to live? Absolutely. When my body is raised to live for all eternity in God's new world? Absolutely.

    Nailing down the exact time is much less important than whether or not someone is a follower of Jesus. I know several tremendous people of faith who do not know when they passed from death to life. Billy Graham's wife, Ruth Graham, did not know even though Billy Graham preached a "crisis" type of conversion message.

    Think about this: I am unaware of any place in the gospels where the closest 12 followers of Jesus are described as suddenly coming to faith. Some see Peter's confession as that moment for him. Jesus suggests that at least a few of the disciples "names were written in heaven" (Luke 10:20) at an early to mid-point in His ministry, but that's far from a definitive argument. Obviously, Paul had a "crisis" conversion on the road to Damascus, the Ethopian eunuch, and the Phillipian jailor and his family as well, but others did not.

    Instead of trying to nail down the date of conversion, look for the fruit of the Spirit in that person's life.
     
  9. righteousdude2

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    I never BRUISE the fruit!

    Thanks UoT. I have actually ceased from asking him, because he became defensive, I never really pushed him. In fact, it was only after he asked me to write a letter of recommendation for him to get assigned to his own church.

    He knew I was ordained, and needed letters from five recognized pastors, which is why I inquired about his sharing his testimony of salvation and calling into the ministry. In good conscience I could not recommend him spiritually speaking, without knowing those two things.

    What happened was at first he stalled me, saying he would write those out and email them to me. I said, fine, but all he needed to do was talk with over the phone.

    Weeks went by; he wrote and asked me where my letter was, and I asked him where his testimony was. From that point, he broke off all communications. The next thing I know is he is ordained and had his own church!

    This is why I questioned in this OP if a person in the ministry should, in fact, not be held to spiritual accountability for sharing their testimony of faith in Jesus to save them, as well as something about what leads them to believe they've been called into the ministry!

    I never push on people, especially young believers or non believers, because I never want to "bruise" the fruit!

    So, I remain suspicious of him. There are a ton of men and women in the ministry who are there not by God's calling, but by their own! :tonofbricks: IMHO!!!
     
  10. Salty

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    I find that a little hard to accept fully.
    For example lets say for augurment sake, he was involved in a relationship that would be extremly embarssing. And that situation led to his salvation.
    He simply could state that he was living an unholy life -which details would be left alone, and thu that he came to realize his need to accept the Lord.

    Personally, I came to a saving knowledge of salvation on the first Monday of May, 19--. The evening before, Pastor Schultz had preached a message- stating that if we are not sure of our salvation - we need to be sure.
    I was 11 years old - and had been a faithful attender of a GARBC church - attended Camp BaYouCa for several years. Yet, I was not able to recount any time I had repented of my sins.

    Now, my call to preach was much different. I had for years - even as a teen, I realized that I had a gift. I served in our childrens church- as well as other ministry opportunies. Finally, when I was in Germany, as Youth Director, my pastor, Rev Ralph Blair had me preach on Youth night. He saw a gift in me - and from then on, I knew I would be in the ministry.

    Now, I would like to relate another story.

    While in Wildfleckn, Germany; I was the founding pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church. Being in the military - I found it hard to pastor. Our church decided to call a missionary pastor. Well, I sat down with him and ask for his salvation testiomony. His answer, - I joined the Navy, got on drugs - and God saved me from drugs. Never once, did he mention the Blood of Christ or the repentence of sin. A few days later, we had a church meeting - I asked Mark (his real name) the same question. The church recieved the same answer. The following week, we had a vote. With about 25 members, he was one vote short of the 3/4 required. At that point, Bob (his real name) stood up and said that church was not accepting Gods man; and that he would not come back. A few people were upset that Bob left. The following week, there was another vote on Mark. This time he obtained at least 75% of the vote - but Mrs Salty and I did NOT vote. - About 3 months later, I was transfered to another post about 75 miles away. About 5 months after that - Mark was no longer pastor.
     
  11. Use of Time

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    It's a hypothetical man. There is nothing to accept. Yes, I would be a little suspicious too but people generally have reasons for keeping things to themselves. Not all of them are malicious.
     
  12. Earth Wind and Fire

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    You're making a good point. Why do think Baptists do not factor in long term salvation?
     
  13. Baptist Believer

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    I think there are a couple of strong reasons why we tend to fall that way.

    One is cultural. The revivalistic movements in the United States over the past 350 years or so have shaped the way we think about salvation. In many cases, conversions were dramatic and they tended to capture the imagination. Which testimony is better: a horrible and notorious sinner who comes to faith and is transformed in mid-life, or a man who has walked with God from the time he began thinking about the questions of faith? Obviously, the man who has always walked with God, but the miracle of conversion that is apparent when a person is dramatically converted is much more compelling to the imagination.

    The other is the traditional Baptist insistence on believer's baptism and rejection of infant baptism. We want to know that a person has made an intentional decision of faith, not just appropriated the trappings of faith from the surrounding culture. That kind of theology (a theology I strongly agree with, FWIW), is more comfortable with the "crisis" conversion. The crisis moment is supposed to define the time of initial commitment. Unfortunately, it is rather easy for well-intentioned (and no so-well-intentioned) preachers/evangelists to manipulate people into an emotional crisis and get them to make the motions of a commitment without actually confronting people with the gospel and letting the Spirit do the convicting. That's how we get so many false converts and persons who say they have made a commitment to Jesus (at least, as far as they have been taught) but have not real interest in following Jesus. The New Testament teaching about those persons is that they are not true believers. Of course, the New Testament writers assumed that those who are evangelized were getting the full message of Jesus to follow Him, not a "pray-this-prayer-and-you-will-go-to-Heaven-when-you-die" kind of message. There may well be true believers who don't know any better and don't know why they are so spiritually-restless all the time since they've done everything they have been told to do, but cannot find any joy in their spiritual life.

    In general, Baptists need better teachers, preachers, and evangelists who present the full message of Jesus with a call to die to self and follow Him. That's the essential element of the gospel message. Some will scream that what I have written is a "works" based message, but if you look at the gospels - and read Paul in light of what Jesus has already said - it becomes crystal clear.
     
  14. Salty

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    Mark was not a hypothetical man. there is NO reason why a man cannot give a testomony on how he got saved. I understand that he may not want to go into detail about their pre-salvation life.

    God getting you off drugs does NOT equal salvation.
     
  15. Use of Time

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    No, I was coming up with a hypothetical reason for why the guy may not have wanted to share. Wasn't claiming that your anecdotal stories were hypothetical.
     
  16. Salty

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    Just confirming - thanks
     
  17. wpe3bql

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    Since I'm not, and never was, and probably never will "be 'Called' to preach," my perspective on this may come off as slightly different from someone who has received "the Call."

    I can trace back at least 2 or more years (1964 - 1966) before I received Christ as my Savior. I could name names and/or several "situations" that occurred before I was actually transferred from death to life in an IFB church in Tucson AZ in April, 1966.

    I don't mind giving my testimony any more than the healed blind man in John 9.

    No, I didn't spend "sleepless nights dreaming of my current fate" nor was I a biker or some sports hero, etc., but I still recall what happened on that Saturday evening.

    FWIW, I usually tend to be somewhat detail oriented about a lot of things, especially when it comes to my salvation story. OTOH, some Christians I've encountered want me to just "cut to the chase" when it comes to this.

    To each his/her own on this I suppose.

    Anyway, this is just my $0.02 USD, and, "That's my story, and Ima stikkin' w/ it!!" :thumbsup:
     

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