The Real Christ Fellowship

(Although I am rebranding my blog, due to the overwhelmingly positive response to this article, I will leave it up on the blog as it was published in April 2015).

I am not here to endorse Marco Rubio. I am not here to drag the Huffington Post or journalist Bruce Wilson through the mud. I won’t be getting into Wilson’s previous articles. It’s irrelevant what his personal beliefs are because I’m not here to talk about him, nor am I here to talk about Rubio.

I’m here to talk about Jesus Christ. I’m here to talk about Christ Fellowship.

For those who don’t know, Huffington Post writer Bruce Wilson recently published an article titled “Marco Rubio’s Miami Church: Exorcisms, Creationism, Anti-Gay Policies“. While it’s expected for those opposing Rubio to start digging into his past to uncover what they can, I couldn’t quite let this article go without a response.

Why? Because I attend Christ Fellowship. I’ve attended since 2011 and I can say, with 100% certainty, that this article is a result of a gross misunderstanding of both the church and Christianity as a whole.

Allow me to explain.

Wilson has four main points he makes throughout the article. They can be best summed up as the following:

  1. Marco Rubio is a flip-flop Christian who has switched ideologies and doesn’t know what he believes in.
  2. Christ Fellowship is anti-homosexual.
  3. Christ Fellowship promotes demonology & exorcism.
  4. Christ Fellowship believes in Young Earth creationism and in the denial of evolution.

Let me state this first: I am NOT a representative of Christ Fellowship, nor do I attempt to speak as one. Rather, I speak as a Christian who attends Christ Fellowship every weekend, attends small group (bible study) there, and was baptized there in 2012.

That said, let’s get into why I must fervently disagree with the article written about Rubio.

1- Marco Rubio is a flip-flop Christian who has switched ideologies and doesn’t know what he believes in.

Again, I will state that I am not, in any way, endorsing Marco Rubio. I don’t know him or his family, so there is little I can say about him to begin with (on a personal level). However, I must clear up a misconception that was demonstrated in the article written by Wilson.

Nobody starts their walk with God knowing everything there is to know about God.

It doesn’t matter if you were raised in the church or outside of it. My own personal story has me experimenting with a wide variety of religions throughout my entire life. I called myself “Christian”, but I wasn’t really changed by the Gospel of Jesus until 2010 (where I have remained ever since). And even so, I’ve changed a lot since 2010. God has matured me in areas that were immature, strengthened me in areas that were weak, and revealed to me theological terms and concepts I had never heard of my entire life prior to really being changed by Christ. Even being raised in a “religious home”, I had collected a string of misconceptions about God that, upon further review, I found to be false.

People grow. People learn. People change.

It’s not a bad thing that Rubio was looking for God. I applaud it, actually. I’m glad he was seeking information, even if I don’t agree with the Church of Latter Day Saints or even with tenets of Catholicism. Any Christian that claims to be perfect, and claims to know it all, isn’t just lying to others but also lying to themselves. It’s impossible to know everything there is to know about God. We have God’s word (the Bible) which teaches us about God, but there is no way to know every little thing about Him, or to even fully understand that which we do know (like the trilogy).

Now, let me get into the more in-depth points: more specifically, the ones about Christ Fellowship.

2- Christ Fellowship is anti-homosexual.

I feel a big chunk of information is missing here that is vital to the point Wilson tries to make in his article. We’re not so much “anti-homosexual” as we are “anti-sin”…and it’s certainly not what Wilson makes it seem like.

While a Biblical understanding of the Bible is that homosexuality is, indeed, a sin, we must realize that common place things like divorce (absent of sexual immorality or abandonment), getting drunk, lying, gossiping, and stealing are also sins. Things we wouldn’t consider to be a big deal (like a little white lie) are still sins (and are a big deal to God). I’ve never been employed by Christ Fellowship, so I can’t really speak on behalf of the wording of the employment contract, but as a whole, I would imagine (and rightfully so) that they don’t wish their employees to be habitually engaged in ANY type of sin, no matter what form it is. I mean really, would ANY company want their employees addicted to anything? I would imagine the answer is “no”.

Keeping that in mind, Christ Fellowship welcomes any and all to their campuses. It holds back Christ’s love from NO ONE, regardless of their age, gender, sexual orientation, height, weight, race, ethnicity, etc. Why? Because there is a general understanding that NO ONE was born “perfect”. We have no right to act like we are better than any one else because, before Christ, we were just as guilty of our sins as a homosexual, a liar, a drunkard, a cheater, a thief, etc. And if a Christian does act “holier than thou”, I personally would question their very salvation.

Jesus can deliver someone from homosexual desires (just like He delivers people from any other type of sin), but the point of  Christianity isn’t just to “correct all the gays”. That’s a huge misunderstanding and couldn’t be further from the truth. Those Westboro Baptist people (the ones that picket soldier funerals) don’t know my Jesus (the Jesus of the Bible, that is). The goal isn’t to “keep America Christian”, despite popular belief. At the end of the day, the goal is to introduce others to Jesus Christ. To spread the Gospel, which is the message that we are dead in our sins, but that Jesus died a horrific death to pay the price and, if we believe in Him, we can have eternal life. It is also to love like Christ did (which is part of spreading the Gospel). The words CHRISTIAN and LOVE should, ideally, go together. If that hasn’t been your experience, reader, then I’m sorry to say the Christians you know haven’t quite met Jesus Christ yet.

So while Christ Fellowship may preach that homosexuality is a sin, it also preaches that it is no greater sin than any other sin in the Bible and those who practice it deserve the same love we would give to anyone else, Christian or not. The church is NOT “anti-homosexual”.

3- Christ Fellowship promotes demonology & exorcism.

The funny thing about the sermon Wilson references is that I was in the audience when Pastor Rick Blackwood preached it. I  have always remembered it for the anecdote Blackwood mentions towards the end, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

The Bible mentions the existence of demons. Period. I’m not an expert on demonology, but suffice it to say that they do, indeed, exist, if we are to assume that the Word of God is true. They did during Biblical times and they still do, though it’s not quite like the movies and TV shows portray it. Ironically, while Wilson tries to make it seem like Blackwood is encouraging exorcisms, in that very same sermon, Pastor Rick specifically says the following:

Folks, do not miss what I am about to say. The answer to demons is not some spooky exorcism. The answer to demons is not some weird, bizarre ritual like throwing holy water or whatever. The answer to demons is not that kind of thing. You should never try to talk to demons. You talk to God. The power that drives demons out of people is the presence of Jesus. In other words, demon-controlled people do not need an exorcist. They don’t need you and me to go around shouting at demons to come out of people. The power that drives out demons is the presence of Christ. All we need to do is put Jesus into that person and the demons go away. In other words, people just need to open their heart and let Jesus inside, because when Christ comes inside, His presence drives out the demons.

He specifically says he’s not encouraging exorcism or anything of that sort. The anecdote about the man  he crossed paths with involved no such exorcism. Rather, Blackwood is saying something similar to what I mentioned in point number two (that our goal as Christians is to introduce people to Jesus Christ). Wilson must have misjudged Christ Fellowship because it, clearly, does NOT promote exorcism. On the subject of demonology, simply put, any Bible believing church will believe angels and demons exist: that’s just taking God’s word as truth (which I do).

4- Christ Fellowship believes in Young Earth creationism and in the denial of evolution.

I’m not a science buff, nor am I very articulate when it comes to such things, so I will let experts explain these more so, but believing in Creationism and the “Young Earth” theory really aren’t all that scandalous. In fact, many Bible believing churches believe in the same. Scientists with no religious affiliation also believe in such theories.

If you’d like more information, please see the links below. While these websites are not, in any way, affiliated with Christ Fellowship, they can provide a better explanation than I can as to why a Christian (or anyone, for that matter), would believe in the aforementioned theories. I encourage you to read the following articles, no matter what your personal beliefs are, but for the record, Christians don’t hate science. If anything, science backs up God more than it disproves Him.

I would also encourage you to watch this video where Pastor Louie Giglio, of Passion City Church in Atlanta, talks about Laminin and demonstrates just how close God and science really are.

Or, if you’d like to hear Pastor Rick’s actual words on the subject, you can check out this sermon and any sermon in the “I Wish I Knew What To Believe” series.

CONCLUSION:

Mahatma Gandhi is famously quoted as saying “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ”.

If this has been your experience with Christianity, then I’d like to apologize. Many people walk around today claiming to know Christ when they have no business doing so. They know lies told about Him. They know cult-like versions of Him (insert Westboro Baptist here). They’ve heard watered down versions of Jesus that lack any kind of life-changing power. Many of heard OF Him, but few actually KNOW Him.

I know Him.

I don’t know all there is to know about Jesus (that’s impossible to know), but I know Him. I went 19 years of my life thinking I was “saved from hell” because I intellectually acknowledged that a guy named Jesus died on a cross. I wasn’t. The point isn’t “avoiding hell”. That’s not why I tell people about Jesus.

I tell people about Jesus because when He impacts your life, when He truly comes into it, you feel REAL love for the first time. You feel COMPLETE. And because you’ve met a God who’s very nature is love, you spread love to others. You were made to worship Him. And you were made to love Him and be loved by Him.

I’ve heard pastors use this illustration before: Imagine eating a delicious meal at a restaurant. It’s not life changing, but you certainly took notice. You’re quick to recommend it, aren’t you? I mean, you want others to experience what you have, don’t you?

THAT is why I preach Christ. He changed MY life. I can not speak for anyone else (because I am not them), but I can certainly speak for myself. I was dead and lost without Jesus. In Him, I am alive and loved. It is a love you can not compare to anything else. It is a love that will change your life.

Christ Fellowship believes in that love. It is why it emphasizes “connecting to the world”, that is, community involvement within the city of Miami as well as outside of it. It’s why we are constantly sending missionaries to other countries, building homes for those rescued from sexual slavery, partnering with other churches and organizations to reach people in need, and more. It is why we even have a week called “Love Miami Week” where groups from all campuses serve the city of Miami in any which way we are allowed to. Rick Blackwood doesn’t want the glory. Please, don’t praise Rick Blackwood. Christ Fellowship doesn’t want the glory either. Don’t sit here and say how wonderful Christ Fellowship is for all it’s doing.

Rick Blackwood is nobody without Christ. Christ Fellowship is nobody without Christ. I, Christina Arteaga, am nobody without Christ.

Christ Fellowship is not an anti-homosexual, demon exorcising and scientifically naive church. It’s a church that wants to impact the city of Miami with the Gospel of Jesus Christ because it brings life to all those who believe in it…and you’d be hard pressed to argue against that fact.

Disclaimer: This article is not a political endorsement.

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29 thoughts on “The Real Christ Fellowship

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  1. Awesome post Christina,glad you wrote about the ridiculousness of the HP article. As a christian blogger and a CF member,it’s interesting how journalists gather their”convenient” facts to throw politicians under the bus and add in any affiliation they may have and report only the facts that may sound good in a headline. Thanks again I LOVE MY CHURCH and all that it does for the people in the community and bringing them closer to the kingdom of GOD.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s very true. I understand the primarily goal of the article was to make Rubio look bad. I don’t think he necessarily have a vendetta against CF, so to speak, but regardless, it’s my church and, knowing how sound it is, I can’t let it be defamed like that. You and I both know CF goes out of it’s way to bring glory to God, leaving it’s name out of the picture at times to further the kingdom of God. It doesn’t care about how popular it gets. It will do unpopular things, as long as the Gospel is proclaimed and Jesus is glorified. But this article was a serious misrepresentation.

      And you know…I have a strong feeling God will somehow use the HP article in a way that brings Himself glory. He always does.

      Thank you for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. very well said. I’m glad you took the time to rebut that article. perhaps the miss written article will draw people to the CF website and perhaps they will end up on CF online.
    THIS CAN BE just another tool that God uses to draw more people to Him.

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    1. You know, God uses the strangest things for His glory. My prayer is that this somehow draws people to him and changes hearts. If even one person is impacted by his article or mine and comes to know Jesus, it was all worth it! 🙂 Thank you for commenting!

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  3. I used to be a Christian, and I bought into many of the same beliefs that you yourself hold. I also went to CF for many years.

    The criticism CF is receiving is absolutely deserved. The HP article was right in presenting CF as homophobic and anti-science (I’m with you on the exorcism stuff though. That was a bit exaggerated). It quoted Rick’s sermons for crying out loud! CF is definitely anti-gay. It has proven that by equating same-sex love with awful sins. How can the church claim to be loving and open to all, while maintaining that an integral part of someone’s identity is sinful? You can’t pick and choose which parts of a human being are acceptable to you and call it “loving.”

    Also, by rejecting evolution, is has rejected science and knowledge. Believing in a literal 6-day creation story does nothing to advance science or our understanding of the world. I mean, imagine where we would be today if everyone still believed in a flat earth?

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    1. Hello there Laila. Don’t worry! I didn’t delete this. Honestly, I was probably sleeping when you wrote this, so I didn’t see it until now. Unless something is like spam or explicit, I won’t delete it. I don’t think you can say you really believe in something if you aren’t willing to listen to opposing viewpoints, you know? If you’re going to say you believe something, you should know you believe it without a doubt, which means being able to look at other viewpoints and say “I understand where you’re coming from, but I disagree, and this is why”.

      And I don’t want to talk your ear off either (or I guess, in this case, write too much). My email is ChristinaXArteaga@gmail.com. If you’d like to speak more about the details, or just talk, my email is always open to you (and anyone, really). I’m not a priest or pastor. I don’t have degrees in theology. Simply, I just care about people and care about Jesus.

      It’s not a conversation I can really have over a comment (because it’s takes a bit of explaining), but I will do my best to keep it as short as possible because I feel strongly about this topic.

      I believe in God. I believe Jesus is God. I believe the Bible is the Word of God. I believe there are no contradictions in it (which, when taken in context, proves to be true). If everything I said is true, than everything in Bible must be true, correct? So, that said, there are verses that say homosexuality is a sin (in the New Testament as well as the Old, but lets focus on the New right now).

      This website lists most of the verses for you and further explains what I believe. To keep this short, I’ll just give you the link.

      http://www.gotquestions.org/homosexuality-Bible.html

      Everyone’s identity is inherently sinful. Everyone is born sinful. Nobody is born a “good person”. Christ Fellowship (or rather, the Bible) isn’t saying “because you’re gay, you’re sinful” but rather “because you’re alive, you’re sinful”. At the end of the day, no matter what you struggle with, the struggle isn’t the issue. It’s your heart. And if that’s true, no Bible-believing Christian can say one sin is worse than another. CF isn’t anti-homosexual specifically. It just believes the Word of God to be true. It loves and welcomes anyone, regardless of what their past was or what their present circumstances are.

      I’d like to introduce you to someone named Jackie Hill Perry. I don’t know her personally, but I feel that listening to her speak can paint a better picture of this topic. She actually struggles/struggled with same sex attraction and I think listening to this topic from someone who actually understands it on a personal level is better than me just giving you a second hand story.

      The video can be found HERE on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTjxe_sWUGA

      As for science, CF actually does believe in science. I mentioned a sermon series in my article titled “I Wish I Knew What To Believe” and, as proof, I’d ask you to watch it. In it, Pastor Rick explains why we reject evolution. I’ll let you watch it, but trust me, he doesn’t just say “well, the Bible says Adam and Eve started it, so trust it!”. He goes pretty in depth to point out why the Theory of Evolution is flawed, specific to dates, names and locations.

      The sermon titles “Observable Evidence” is here : http://cfmiami.org/sermons/watch/observable-evidence

      And Pastor Rick is very intelligent, I might add. What the HP writer probably doesn’t know is that he actually holds many degrees and is very learned. I will never claim to be as smart as him because he has a DMin (Doctorate of Ministry), an EdD (Doctorate in Education) and quite a bit more. I’ve been in his office and have seen his degrees, so I personally know there are more, but suffice it to say he’s well versed in research. Rick is just a man, so I won’t take his words at face value (I always research when someone claims something is from the Bible), but I do trust him to know what he is talking about because he’s studied so much. At the end of the day, he is a human being, just like you and I. He’s not special or “super holy”. He’s just a man being used by God to help others understand His word and apply it.

      I’m sorry if I’ve written a lot, Laila. It’s a bad habit of mine. But if I truly believe that Jesus is real, and that the Word of God is real, then I also believe that it can be defended. And I believe it will stand any question because, if it’s really real, it has to.

      And so far, for the five years I’ve been walking with God, it has. I’ve tested it many times (trust me, I have!), and it still stands. And that’s AMAZING to me.

      I have my own personal story that we can get into later, but I want you to know something. I messed up big time in 2013. I left CF and pretty much cut off all my friendships. I sinned and really messed up. I went through some pretty tough stuff from 2013-2014. I even questioned God at one point. I read so many verses about God loving us, but I didn’t feel loved.

      And as I said earlier, if I believe God’s Word to be true, it has to stand against any and all criticism (especially my own). And it did. God brought me back. Not Christ Fellowship. Not Rick Blackwood. I even tried going to other churches and it never seemed to work out. It’s like God was telling me “No. Your home is CF. Go back to it.”

      And I did.

      I would love to talk to you one-on-one, if possible. I truly hope you look into the resources I’ve provided, and again, I apologize for this being so long. My hope is Christ. My love is Christ. I’m far from perfect (just ask my husband), so I am the last person on the “holier than thou” list, but trust me when I say God completes you like nothing else. Not religion. Not church. Only God Himself can do that.

      Thank you for commenting. I really look forward to speaking with you, if you’d like to.

      Have a wonderful day!

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    2. Thank you for not deleting my comment! The reason I said that is because I have often commented on Christian blogs or websites, hoping to have a productive dialogue, only to have my comment deleted because it went against the writer’s opinion. This has been one of the few times a Christian blogger has not deleted a dissenting comment of mine, so thanks!

      Like I said, I went to CF for many, many years. Much longer than you’ve been there. I had several positions of leadership in various ministries (I helped launch a campus, I was a small group leader, etc) and I was a Christian. A real, true Christian. I loved Jesus (i still think he’s a pretty cool guy, but I’m not sure about the whole son of god thing).

      So let me say that I know Rick is very intelligent (I think he has around four PhD’s). I’ve heard many of his sermons throughout the years. I also know who Jackie Hill is, and as a bisexual person, I believe she is either A) Not being true to herself B) Is able to be happily married to a man because she is actually bisexual or C) lying. I find it incredibly hard to believe that she actually stopped being gay. I tried to change as well (I even went to CF Counseling for it!), and could not. If you want to get a better sense of where I’m coming from, I highly recommend watching this excellent documentary called “One Nation Under God.” It is about Christian gay conversion therapy, and is on Netflix.

      I think the root of the problem lies in CF’s (and most evangelical’s stance) in seeing the Bible as inerrant. I think you will find that if you research the other side of the argument, that there is compelling evidence there as well. If you’d like to read more about it, I’d recommend some of Bart Ehrman’s books (he used to be an Evangelical but is now agnostic). I want to emphasize that I am not trying to dismantle your faith. I believe that when we see scripture as being nuanced and flawed, we get a better glimpse of God. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but I believe that God, who ever she is, is mysterious. Faith is not meant to be a sure thing, it does not claim to know all the answers, or else it wouldn’t be faith. Healthy spirituality allows for questioning and wonder. There is more freedom in that, as I have experienced.

      I’m saddened that you, and other Christians, see yourselves as inherently sinful. I don’t mean that in a pitying way. I just think that is such an awful way to view yourself and humanity. I used to believe that as well, and I was depressed for many years. I can’t imagine a loving God that would want you to hate yourself. You wouldn’t want your own children to hate themselves, so why would God? Jesus said that the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. You can’t do that unless you love yourself, which is impossible in an evangelical environment.

      God did fail me, and I found that he was not fulfilling. That may be hard to hear, but it is true. I am happier now. I feel more free, and I found that life did not fall apart when he stopped being in control of it because I am perfectly capable of handling it myself. I am not helpless.

      I’m sorry, as well, for the long response! If you want to continue this conversation, I can e-mail you.

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      1. Well that’s silly. I mean, again, if someone posts spam or explicit pictures, I’m going to delete it, but I won’t delete a comment simply because I disagree with someone. That’s ridiculous. lol.

        While I don’t know Jackie Hill Perry personally, I have to disagree with you on the bisexual thing. She’s said in interviews that she didn’t find men attractive at all and actually found herself attracted to girls from a very young age (sometime in elementary school, but I don’t remember the exact age). That said, she usually follows her testimony by saying that God completely changed her desires, which is why she believes Jesus saves 100%, totally and completely. She actually had a recent interview where she supposedly went more in depth about it, but I haven’t been able to finish listening to it. I was on my lunch break, but had to leave.

        If you’re interested, this is the link to the panel discussion.

        http://www.rapzilla.com/rz/videos/live/10670-video-jackie-hill-perry-sounds-off-about-homosexuality-in-panel-discussion

        The reason why I believe the Bible is inerrant is because of the following two verses:

        “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17

        “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12

        The thing is, if I am to claim that the Bible is God’s word, and God is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent, then it MUST be all or nothing. If even one thing is incorrect, if God was wrong in even ONE part of His Word, He wouldn’t be God. It’s either all breathed out by God or none of it is breathed out by God. It’s all living and active or none of it is living and active.

        We may be inherently sinful, but God thankfully didn’t leave us there. That’s the hope, joy and peace in Jesus. Christ lived the perfect life we never could, fulfilling every prophecy ever told about the Messiah in the Word of God, and although innocent, took our sins on the cross and paid the price for us. When Christ comes into our hearts, He makes us pure as snow. So, when God the Father looks at us, He doesn’t see my past sins. He doesn’t see this horrible selfish and envious human being that I am (speaking just for myself here), but He sees Jesus. He sees purity. He sees perfection, even when I know I’m not perfect. He’s forgiven my sins. There’s nothing more for me to do. And it’s out of gratitude that I serve Him. I don’t need to earn His love. He already loves me. I serve Him because I love Him and I’m thankful.

        I have a small daughter and I adore her. It’s not so much about hating herself. She’s about a year and a half now. Imagine she wanted to play with scissors. She’d scream and cry if I took them away from her (she is a toddler, after all). As her mother, I know the dangers of scissors, but she doesn’t. And when I take it away, she feels like I took away something great from her life, but in reality, I was protecting her. I was giving her something better (and saving her the trip to the hospital). And she won’t know that until later, when I can explain it to her.

        I’d have to argue that God didn’t fail you. As I said in my article, I wrestled much with “religion” for the first 19 years of my life. At one point, I concluded there was no God. I felt He had failed me too. Horrible things had happened to me, even after I had been a “good person” for most of my life, had followed all the rules (so to speak), had attended church (a different one), got baptized in that church, was doing Bible study, etc. I was at the point where I wanted nothing to do with the Christian God at 19 years old because, simply put, I felt I lost more than I gained. I told someone close to me at the time “I just don’t feel like it’s worth it to follow Christ”. When I left the conversation, I prayed to God and told Him “Look, I want to believe you, but I’m logical. I just can’t see how you can claim to be good and just when all this bad stuff has happened to me. How can you claim to love me? I want to believe, but I need proof. You need to prove yourself.”

        I felt like watching a sermon (which makes no sense after bashing that church and religion an hour prior, but I did feel like watching it) and in it, the pastor said “Jesus died because He thought YOU were worth it”. Those words felt like they pierced my very heart. I had just told someone I didn’t feel like Jesus was worth following, but I had now heard Jesus died because he thought I was worth dying for.

        That was April 25th, 2010. Every single day prior to that, I felt empty. If it wasn’t empty religion it was empty pleasure. The world never satisfied me. Maybe temporarily I would forget my emptiness, but when the noise subsided, I felt it. And even though I’ve struggled in following Jesus, and even messed up a few times, no matter how far I was from God…I never felt empty. The entire time, I felt a tug to just “come back home”.

        And I did.

        I’ve been to many churches in Miami. I’ve practiced many religions. I’ve adopted many theories and psychological beliefs. None have filled me up like Christ has because, the truth is, none of them are true. He is the one true living God.

        Please do email me. I promise I won’t write as much as I do here! lol. I’m capable of short answers as well. I’m just passionate about Him and what He’s done for me, personally, so it’s hard keep it short when I feel there’s just so much to say. But thank you for being understanding in your responses as well. I know we disagree, but I thank you for your kindness as well. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day!

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  4. Hi, it’s me again. I really hope you won’t delete my comment. I hope you will be open to constructive dialogue and hearing of someone else’s experiences, even if they do not mirror your own.

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  5. Thank you for your response to this article. I have been a member for 21 years of a neighboring church that has worked closely with CF and I have had the pleasure of meeting Pastor Rick. My church has seeing the blessings that have derived from the CF campuses and it has always been due to the love and care your congregation has for the people of Miami. I encourage and exhort you to continue the God fight. He works all things for good.
    God bless,
    Richard D.

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  6. 1) Rubio – When an individual “grows into” a belief system, or finds a specific religion just at the same time that religions starts to attain political power, such conversions will always be suspect. Whether a true conversion or not, it seems to the outside observer as self-serving.

    2) When the public face of hate against homosexuality is all that is projected, then a faith gets painted with the brush of being anti-homosexual. And as much as you claim other sins are equivalent, I have yet to see a big Christian push to outlaw second marriages, since even the bible strongly condemns this. As for that I don’t see a big push in outlawing divorce for that matter. (Mathew 19:9, Luke 16:18, et. all)

    3) Demons? really? Perhaps we should bring back blood letting for fevers too? Demons are quackery at best, and all comment to the side about bringing in Jesus to eliminate demons is flat out bizarre.

    4)
    Link one is broken
    Link two (on radiometric dating was dis-proven many times over – http://www.reasons.org/articles/helium-diffusion-in-zircon-flaws-in-a-young-earth-argument-part-1-of-2 )
    Link three shows a fundamental lack of the understanding of geological science, and any search of literature finds the argument specious.
    Link Four – an argument against something by attacking the people making it- is a poor argument. In the end the link is just flat insulting.Creation vs Evolution is not a discussion of atheism, nor is it an appeal to just believe. It should be a rational fact based discussion. This link is not.
    Link five is more of the same. A lack of understanding what evolution is, a blending of disparate topics and an insult to science.

    Regardless of what you believe, or why you came to believe it, you should be intellectually honest instead of continuing fallacies and irrational discussions. Believe as you will but keep your religion out of politics and law.

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    1. 1) Truthfully, I just wanted to demonstrate that it’s okay for people to question their beliefs and change throughout their life. I don’t endorse him, I don’t know him, and I don’t know his motives. I just thought it was wrong to criticize him for seeking to find truth. I think everyone should question what they believe in and test it, not just blindly believe what someone tells them is true, you know?

      2) Let me speak personally for this one (not that I was speaking on behalf of CF before, but let me just speak one-on-one). I don’t support any laws that outlaw gay marriage or anything of the sort. Why? Because my goal isn’t to “make America Christian”. Having a law that says “you can’t do this” doesn’t really make my God known and doesn’t bring Him any glory in any way. If anything, it’s a breeding ground for legalistic people to come “in the name of Jesus” to try to get a law passed. Or, like those Westboro Baptist people, it paints us as gay-hating when, truthfully, a real follower of Jesus, one that has had their heart changed by Him, can’t say they love Jesus and not love their neighbor (neighbor meaning every single other person they ever come in contact with). You can’t love Jesus and hate someone (and be okay with hating someone). Those two literally can not coexist.

      That said, I don’t think there should be a “big Christian push” towards any kind of legislation simply because it’s a waste of time. But that’s my personal opinion. I’d rather serve other people and show them love than be trying to push for a law that really does nothing for God.

      3) That’s your opinion. I believe the Bible to be true, so I believe demons are real. I’ve said it before and I’ll say again that the Word of God, when taken in context, can’t contradict itself and will stand against opposition. If I believe it’s God’s Word, and I do, then His Word stands. Simple as that.

      4) Thank you for pointing out the link. I fixed it. As for the other links, I’m going to be honest. I don’t have the answers for you. I’m not a scientist. I’m not a biologist. I provided those links because people far more versed in these topics can better explain them than I. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me admitting that to you. You seem like someone who is well versed in scientific matters. I’d recommend listening to William Lane Craig or Ravi Zacharias debate on these topics, for they know much more than I.

      I’m sorry I didn’t have an answer for your Old Earth vs Young Earth point, but I promise you that God’s Word will stand against opposition simply because, if it’s to be believed that it’s true, it must.

      The truth is, my job isn’t to make you (or anyone) believe in Christ. I can’t do that. Our very human nature is sinful. We’re born sinful and we’re born rejecting Him. So another human can’t possibly change someone’s heart. Only God can change someone’s heart. My job is to speak truth (God’s Word) and to love people. Really, my primary purpose is to worship Him, but speaking truth and loving others come as a result of that being done. And just as I have considered your points of view (as well as the points of view of others I’ve encountered in my five years of following Jesus), I hope you would consider mine as well.

      I hope you have a wonderful day. Thank you for reading and commenting. 🙂

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  7. We have to understand that Bruce Wilson is a “Blogger” for one of the most liberal news media outlets in the world. The other thing is a “Blogger” is the same thing as a Columnist where the writer is allowed Editorialize their own opinion and DO NOT have to base it on fact. A lot of us are guilty of basing our opinions on what Columnist think about an issue, including this one. I did find it interesting after reading the comments following Wilson’s Blog in the Huff Post, that most were hate filled, uninformed, ill informed, know it all sycophants. With that said, What have we done as Christians to love those who hate us and Christ.
    MB

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    1. I knew that Bruce Wilson must have been some sort of editorial writer or something or the sort (simply because I sensed some personal beliefs in his writings), but I wasn’t really too concerned about him bashing Rubio or Christ Fellowship, to be honest. My issue was that people would read this article and take it at face value, when many of the things he wrote were misrepresentations of my church family and, quite frankly, my faith as a Christ.

      I completely agree with you on the comments end. I wanted to write a second part to my article, but feared it would be too long, that would have warned brothers and sisters, both inside and outside of CF, not to react angrily or try to defame Wilson. He’s not the problem here.

      In these sort of positions, I think we as Christians, first and foremost, need to pray. don’t think the Rubio article will end up on Foxnews or CNN anytime soon, but if it had, it would cause a lot of eyes to suddenly be on a group of God’s people, and while this church loves God and serves Him, we’re humans. We mess up. My first gut-reaction was to be angry and defensive…but God quickly revealed to me that showing off how “smart I was” or how well I could “rebuttal an argument” does nothing to add to His glory. All it does is add to mine. So PRAYER is the first step, for ourselves and for leaders to respond well and for God to be glorified in our answers to others.

      I also think we need reminders that we were all born sinful. I don’t care if you’ve been walking with God for ten seconds or ten years. Scripture reminds us constantly that grace is a GIFT. We didn’t earn it. So we have no right to boast when we’re challenged. Instead, I think we really need to love others, as the Bible commands us to, and defend truth, but always in love. God is a just God, yes, but He is also merciful and gracious and we need to be the same when challenged.

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  8. Any bible inerrancy Church is gonna be: anti-homosexual, anti-women, and believe in demon posession. They all are pretty well represented positions in the writings. What we need to do in order to avoid these kind of critical criticisms us move away from literal inerrancy to a more heart-felt consensual opinion.

    PS: Don’t be so afraid to endorse someone, unless of course your worried about your losing your tax exempt status 😉

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    1. Hey,

      Truth is, I really don’t endorse anyone at the moment. I’m watching as people make their official announcements and am paying attention to their positions on issues, but at the moment, I really don’t endorse anyone. This article wasn’t really about Rubio so much as it was about Christ Fellowship and Christianity in general.

      And we’re not anti-homosexual or anti-women at all. We love women, men, children, seniors, of all shapes, of all sizes, of all races and of all social statuses. We hold to what the Bible says, but it doesn’t say “hate gay people and hate women”. Not at all. I have to disagree with you there. I’ve already explained why we’re not anti-homosexual, so I’ll leave that issue alone, but a Biblical view on womanhood isn’t to be “anti-woman”.

      I recently saw a sermon on this by Matt Chandler of the Village Church. I’d recommend it to you so you can see Biblcal Inerrancy doesn’t lead to being anti-woman.

      http://www.thevillagechurch.net/resources/sermons/detail/womans-purpose/

      The Village Church isn’t at all affiliated with Christ Fellowship. I just enjoy listening to Matt Chandler and I happen to agree with him in this sermon.

      Thank you for commenting.

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      1. I never used the word “hate” just “anti” aka against. What else would you call an organization that is “against” a person being a member or holding a leadership position based simply on the sexual attraction and/or sex?

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    2. I agree. The bible is an ancient document. Much of the problem with Christianity today is it tries to apply ancient values to a post-modern society. I believe there is much to gain from scripture, but only when we let go of this black-and-white, all or nothing interpretation.

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      1. Forgot about the SBC comment! Sorry! I meant to address that in the other post. It wouldn’t let me reply up there, so I’ll just reply here.

        Honestly, I don’t know what Christ Fellowship (in particular) has to say about that. I can’t speak for them, but personally, I’ve never given it much thought. Honestly, I didn’t even know it was an issue until I saw your comment.

        I have so little experience with this, it’s hard to form an opinion right away, but I don’t think there’s any verse in the Bible that necessarily condemns women from being in the military. That said, I could be wrong. I just don’t know at this moment in time.

        What I do believe is that men and women are equal, but opposite. We’re equal in value and are both cherished and loved by God, but our roles are different. It’s called Complementarianism. The truth is men and women are different. We were created differently. Both in the image of God, but differently. Men have more testosterone. Women have more estrogen. Biologically, we’re wired differently. It doesn’t mean one is better or smarter than the other. We’re just different. Men generally have an instinct to protect and women generally have an instinct to nurture.

        Both Christ Fellowship and The Village Church (Matt Chandler’s, the pastor I spoke about previously, church) are part of the SBC.

        That’s all I can really tell you without doing more research on the topic. But I don’t think that’s a demeaning or anti-woman view. Jesus Christ loved women and stood up for them time and time again. Women were a big part of the early church. I mean, I’m a woman and I don’t feel discriminated against because I know I’m cherished by Jesus.

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