JC, Nathan, and Brian,
I cannot tell you how much of a blessing it has been to have listened to your podcast. It is very professional, enlightening, uplifting, and entertaining. I pastor a small IFB church in South Louisiana. I grew up in a KJV only, hell hating, sinner chasing, Bible thumping, pew jumping, aisle running, honk if you love Jesus church. There are many people in the circles of life I grew up in that I love dearly, and I sincerely love the people of the church God has so graciously given me to pastor, but for so many years my heart has been grieved in many ways over some inconsistencies I have analyzed in the IFB Movement that have made me question many things. Many people being different outside of church than they are in church. Although I myself am not perfect, because I grew up in that influence, I adopted that lifestyle as normal because that’s all I new. I grew up singing in choir and quarters, I know how to play the game of emotions. I’m good at it, but in my heart I knew there was more to life than this game I called church that I played. I’m not proud of playing that game, but I longed for the approval, acceptance, and popularity that came with being good at it. My journey so far was not intentional. I never set out to drift away from the way I was raised or to rebel against my parents, but I genuinely believe God has been speaking to my heart on these matters. I grew up in many of the same ways each of you did as I’ve heard each one of your stories. Craig Edwards to this day is still one of my favorite preachers. I heard over and over again that non-denominational people are going to hell. They’re compromisers and have gone to the left, but then, one day, God led two men into my life from non-denominational churches. One is a farmer, and the other is a pastor. Both these men have such a peace and joy about them that I found it almost convicting. They seem to be sure of who they are and rejoice in the peace that only God can bring. Most people I grew up around in the IFB circles do not have that. God pricked my heart and led me to ask myself this question, “If I have the truth of the Word of God and am truly saved, then what does those two men have that I do not?” Why couldn’t I be that way? I know me and my struggles, but if I talked to anyone about my questions, that would be heresy to the greatest extent. God has shown me how legalism is not Biblical and is not healthy for people to try to maintain. Performance based relationships ultimately will fail, but God’s grace has always been sufficient. Please pray for me on as I’m in this journey. I have a wife and 7 children. I’m 29 years old and I truly want to follow God and His word and please Him in all that I do. Keep up the good work, and thank you so much for your boldness and encouragement in this podcast. God Bless!