Pastor’s Desk 2021-04-13

Chuck Sheridan Avatar

Good Morning Church,

              This week, a group of 25 of us toured the Naval Base in Guaymas. Well what a treat as we first got to hear several of the officers speak to their reason for being – Safety & Security. We first observed two rescue boats and heard an explanation of their procedures. Each boat had a team of 6-8 people. For you “power” guys, each of these boats has 3 -275 horsepower engines – they are quick.

And all of a sudden, we heard a scream in the water as a man fell out of his boat and was crying out for help. The two teams came running out of their facilities, jumped on the rescue boats, backed off their runway mats into the water, within seconds, they pulled up beside the drowning victim, one diver jumped into the water, dragged the victim to the boat and two others pulled him aboard. Back to the dock,  and the awaiting ambulance attendants, onto the stretcher and past our observant crowd, into the ambulance and the sirens wailed as the ambulance raced to the hospital. Yes, it was a simulated event. But pretty cool to watch their coordinated approach.

Then off we went to see one of the newest patrol boats (we’re talking security now). Named the Jalisco, it is only 2 years old, 86 meters long, a surveillance boat inside and several powered life boats on the side  and a helo pad at the back. Again, it was spotlessly clean, three massive engines, and could travel at 20 knots. Inside, there was places for recreation, movies and games for the 60 or so staff, a full kitchen, all the stuff, but the “bridge” (I think that’s what they called it, not sure) but where the captain controls the ship was a highlight. I sat down in the effie’s chair for a moment and felt the rush!

 Then back to the presentation and discussion. Talk about a servant oriented team as they brought out a top quality lunch for us to enjoy, all the while teaching us about the Mexican Navy and the ship we were enjoying. They made a huge impact with their kindness and with their desire to be of service to all who need safety and security in Mexican waters. That will go down as a highlight for me this year.

 He’s back! Mark Mulligan is back on Friday @ La Palapa for one more show this winter. Mark has done such an amazing job of raising support for the various organizations who are helping those in our community who have lost their financial stability through no fault of their own. I applaud all he is done and consider him a personal friend and a great friend of our community. Grateful for all you do, Mark!

 Opportunities to PrayMarco Torres is back in hospital, going through the next regime of chemo.

 Sunday’s Message Summary: Why so many Denominations? Denominations within the protestant faith have had a huge value in the past. They have allowed groups of churches to bond together with a common ministry/mission focus and thus be much more effective in their mission. Out of that, each denomination also developed distinctive “doctrines” or spiritual values which they hold to, each of them having chapter and verse for their particular set of “doctrines.”  

The part that has caused concern for me in ministry is the failure of Christian denominations to be in agreement over these values. All too often these values have caused division and contention between these Christian, Bible believing churches. I have no concern that denominations have these values, but I have a huge concern when one group’s interpretation of these values determines whether they will work with another group whose interpretation is different. All I hear of is the division and debate.

What disturbs me even more about the interpretation of these doctrines is that those who have studied for years, the best theologians and scholars, are unable to come to conclusive agreement. I guess I have always lived under the assumption that Jesus was distinctly clear when He inspired the Scriptures, yet these students of the Word, seem to have trouble hearing the clarity. It seems like there is way more read into passages than Jesus ever intended and all too often, it feels like the point of what our Lord has said has been clearly missed. I can’t help but wonder if we don’t over complicate the Word of God, sometimes for our own benefit, or in times past, maybe to produce loyalty to one’s particular denomination. The attitude behind the declaration of these values can be disturbing. After all, if you don’t speak in tongues, I can’t be working with you. Or if you think Jesus chose you and if I think I chose Jesus, we certainly can’t work together.  And what about those who baptize by sprinkling? I’m okay with distinctives, but I am not okay with those who declare that their distinctive has to also be mine or vica versa. That’s where Christianity has failed to recognize the need for flexibility.

But when it comes to the Core of the Gospel, this is indeed non-negotiable. I believe from Scripture, that there is a Core to the Gospel which Jesus clearly spells out. There are four of these core, nonnegotiable truths which guide all believers and Christian churches to work together. They include:

  1. Jesus is the only way to heaven – Our eternal hope (Eph 2:8-9)
  2. The Bible is the inspired Word of God – Our perfect manual for life (2 Tim 3:16)
  3. The Great Commandment – Our Lifestyle mandate – Love God and Love you neighbors. Matt 22:36-40 (everything hangs on these two)
  4. The Great Commission – Our Work Mandate – “go, teach & Baptize” Matt 28:19-20

Could it be that the distinctive values which bible believers have debated and discussed for years, have distracted us from the very heart of God’s ministry which is spelled out in the core? Have we so complicated the Gospel, that we have come to miss God’s intent? Are we so busy studying irrelevant, non-salvation related doctrines and values, that sinners have lost interest in the Gospel? Is it time to reconsider what it means to be a bible believing follower of Jesus?

I’m thankful for our church family and the positive understanding it has of these core values. I pray our leadership never loses sight of that during our times of transition!

Have a great week,
Pastor Glenn & Jeannine

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