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Anywhere but here

Blaise Pascal

” We do not rest satisfied with the present. We anticipate that future as too slow in coming, as if in order to hasten its course; or we recall the past, to stop its too rapid flight. So imprudent are we that we dream of those times which are no more, and thoughtlessly overlook that which alone exists. For the present is generally painful to us. We conceal it from our sight, because it troubles us; and if it be delightful to us, we regret to see it pass away. We try to sustain it by the future, and think of rearranging matters which are not in our power, for a time which we have no certainty of reaching.

Let each one examine his thoughts, and he will find them all occupied with the past and the future. We scarcely ever think of the present; and if we think of it, it is only to take light from it to arrange the future. The present is never our end. So we never live, but we hope to live; and, as we are always preparing to be happy, it is inevitable we should never be so.” Blaise Pascal, Pascal’s Pensees, (New York: E.P. Dutton and Co., 1958), pp. 49-50

Road Construction

WARNING! Access to our worship service from the north is blocked because of construction (the end of Weddington Matthews Rd that meets Tilley Morris Rd in front of Union Day School). However, this restriction can easily be overcome taking one of multiple alternative routes. Check your favorite navigation device if you typically come from the north end of Weddington Matthews Rd. Access from the south is unaffected. We hope to see you on time at 10am on Sunday mornings!

Seeking a worship Leader

Nancy made an important contribution in the life of our church by getting us to sing out like never before. We will certainly miss her as she moves on to another worship leading opportunity.

Please be in prayer and keep your eyes open for another worship leader. Contact Keith with any lead you may have!

Christmas 2021


At 5pm we will have our Christmas Eve Service. We will read the Christmas Story from the Gospels, sing Christmas Carols, and conclude with Holy Communion.

On Sunday, December 26 we will have a short service at our usual start time of 10am.

All services are at the Weddington Swim & Racquet Club. We hope you join us. Merry Christmas!

FNB Study!


Friday Night Bible Study this Friday Jan. 24th at Jeff and Kathy Robillard’s.

5028 Longview Ct.  Weddington, NC 28104

Please “Reply All” so Jeff can plan for cooking the meat! He needs a headcount by Wednesday! Bring some friends and a dessert! And a Bible! Keith has a great lesson for us.

In Christ, Mark

Fri & Sunday

Hey Bereans,

1) Friday Night Bible Study at Steve and Vickies house again this Friday Nov. 1st!7-9pm… bring a Bible, friend, $5, and a food item!  Pizza and Prep will be provided.  Please “Reply All” if you are able to bring something and come.8006 Weddington Downs DriveWeddington, NC
2) Please Pray for someone right now you believe needs to be connected to Christ.  People Need Him.
3) Fall Back Sleep Extra Hour, this Sunday Nov. 3rd, you will probably actually be at worship 15 min early.
4) Sunday Morning, Live Worship, Communion, Great Teaching, and Fellowship.  We want visitors.  We want to Grow.
5) Pop Quiz:Could God have seeded our planet through UFOs?Who buried Moses?Who do Calvinists and Arminians believe is responsible for evangelism?When God created the Nile crocodile, why did he need serrated teeth?Can anyone ever truly be objective, or is that an impossibility?Are Christian’s after redemption natural hypocrites?
Be like a Berean.

In Christ,Mark

a Latin American Christian, a Libertarian Pro Pot Believer, a Church of Christ/Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox, a British Evangelical, a Dutch Catholic, & a Bird Catching Pastor…

a Latin American Christian, a Libertarian Pro Pot Believer, a Church of Christ/Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox, a British Evangelical, a Dutch Catholic, & a Bird Catching Pastor walk into a bar… &… the Holy Spirit shows up… so then what…?

Come Sunday and find out.

2 Controversial Theologies Tonight

I continue to read and prep for Friday Night Bible Study as I sit in the Chicago Midway Airport.
Bring your thoughtful… Biblical mind tonight and be prepared to be stretched w 2 intertwined yet distinct controversial Christian interpretations and philosophies.
Some will be intrigued…
Some will be offended…
All of us will want to know…. ok… but
“What does the Bible say…?”
It’s gonna be a good one.
No milk served here… only USDA 100% Choice Beef!
Knowledge should lead us to love more.
In Christ.

Biblical Church Leadership?

Is Your Church Biblical:

Scriptures to get you going:
1) Anointed:  Exodus 29:29, 2 Samuel 2:4.
2) Key Leaders:  Luke 6:13.  1 Timothy 5:17.
3) Equal Elders:  Acts 15:2, 1 Timothy 4:14, 1 Peter 5:1.
4) Bishops:  Acts 14:23, Titus 1:5.
5) Congregational:  Acts 15:22, 1 Peter 2:5,9.

Unfortunately for all the “black and white” believers out there… you will not like this answer.

There seems to be multiple models of Biblical leadership, especially throughout the ages, without any one mandated nor prohibited.
In the complete Revelation considering time, and Jesus’ arrival, some will claim there is a final appropriate New Testament Model.  Ok.  Enjoy that then.
However, different churches still set the Leadership up or have it play out in real life… in a multitude of models.

1)  Moses, Abraham, David, Paul, “anointed” model.  All different Church Governments utilize Paul as an example… however… was he in charge or not?  Did he send other “apostles”?  Did he appoint “elders”?  Did he “yield” to anyone?
We can all cherry pick NT Texts when the community appointed… or Paul appointed… or Paul’s sent leaders appointed.  So who really was in charge?
2)  Key Staff lead the church.  Call them elders, call them pastors, call them leaders.  The 12 Disciples.  Peter, James, and John.  Find your texts for proof… they are there.
3)  Equal Elders, or Pastor Lead Elders.  This seems to make good sense, and melds the above and below in a way, however, throughout the birth of the Church and the early years… where did this exist?  Hmmmm….
4)  Bishops, Overseers, the institution, denomination lead.  Consider the NT and the expansion of the church.  Before the canonized bible in the 300s.  Consider the geography, communications and lack there of, travel, and how to have Orthodoxy and fight heresy.  Consider Paul’s strong Leadership, Apostleship, directives, and interactions with the Council of “supposed pillars” in Jerusalem.  How ever you answer this, there was and seemed to be a need for strong leadership over regions, geography, and new churches as the kingdom quickly expanded into the Gentile world.  With brand new converts in regions with only an OT witness (if that) and no Seminaries and no internet (how could they even function)… how the heck could the local church leadership hold to an orthodoxy?  You needed visits from Leaders to teach and guide them.
5)  The congregation should not be powerless… (but should it really be an American democracy?)  We are all the priesthood of believers… we all have different and varying gifts.  Why lift the Pastor up so “high”?  The body of believers should decide who is the Lead Pastor, and/or Elders, or make most major decisions, or live in complete equality of authority.

The Character of the Leadership seems to be the consistent concern.  Not the model.  Yet even then, with the high character standards of 1 Timothy, 1 Peter 5 etc., we recall even the Biblical Leaders’ Character was sometimes far from ideal.
Ex. Moses’ anger (murder, drink the idol, break His tablets, kick the rock), Uriah’s death, Solomon’s wives, Jonah’s concern, John the Baptist’s prison doubts of Jesus, Thomas’ doubt, Peter’s denial, Peter’s vacillation on Kosher, Paul’s doing and not doing what he wants and doesn’t want, Paul and Barnabas arguing over missions, early church excommunicating one another.

In the intro of one of my favorite series of Books…
Counterpoint Series:  Four Views on Church Government
… my above stated non-committal view is denounced.  Ha.  Go read for yourself.

Well … at least I made you think.

Sexual Parameters From the Bible

So answer this question please.
Can Christians teach what the Bible says?

If I am someone who has never read the Bible, am I allowed to sit down and read it over a 12mth period… and be honest enough to say…
“I’ll find – what I find – that it says?”

If we then move one step further… and after reading it, I continue to study and try my best to teach what it says.
“Are we willing to allow for that?”

If the Bible teaches about sexual parameters…
“Can we respect those who teach what the Bible says regarding that?”

If not… then how can anyone be respected as a Bible teacher.
Do we really want Bible teachers to conform to the norms of the current culture and alter what the text actually says?

If someone doesn’t agree with an interpretation… or doesn’t like the Bible… or rejects God in full – or in part maybe just concerning sexual discipline… or agrees with what it says yet rejects to live accordingly… well ok.  It’s America… you have your rights.
But if someone tries to teach what the Bible says… gently and respectfully, should society penalize them in any fashion?

We are free to follow and/or free to not follow…
However… we are not free to feign as if we can re-write the Scriptures according to the Cultural Norm of the Day.
When we read that the Bible commands us to Love and Forgive… we should not alter what the Bible says concerning those instructions.
When we read that the Bible sets parameters to our sexuality… we should not alter what the Bible says concerning those instructions either.

Now we all have our struggles in trying to live a life in accordance to what we say we believe…whether you follow the Bible or not.  I mean… you probably believe in loving people, you probably have some moral structure, you probably think we should help people… but you and I both struggle with living up to the values we have, but that shouldn’t alter the high values of what we say we believe.

So if someone Values the Bible… we shouldn’t expect them to curb or alter what it says… for that would truly be disingenuous, wouldn’t it?

And so… though I know you will fail… just as I will…

go out there and as best as you can do this-
Love God and Love People… according to what the text says!

(Oh… and likewise go out there and as best as you can do this too-
follow the parameters God sets concerning your sexuality… according to what the text says!)


Not “Pro” Not “Phobic”, but Biblical

First, I’d like to clearly state that this is not an issue that we focus on nor lift above any other Biblical issue.
I do recognize that Homosexuality is a hot topic within Society and, particularly pertinent it’s also a hot topic within the Christian Community. It is specifically within the Christian Community- that Believes the Bible is God’s Word- that I listen, study, speak, and teach.

Secondly, we have studied a host of other issues over the last 5 years prior to this one. Now we come to this and we will not shy away just because we all might not agree. I mean, why would we… the Bible clearly, repeatedly deals with the subject of our Sexuality. And for good reason. So, wherever you come down on this, you should teach concerning it… for it is intrinsically a part of who we are… and the Bible has much to say. If your Bible teacher does not… then frankly… he/she should be ashamed. We must speak concerning the things the Bible speaks of like gossip, taxes, wealth, slavery, hatred, love,… and sex.

Like you, I’m searching for the truth… I am not the truth… but I do believe the Bible is, thus we have and are continuing to study what the Bible says about homosexuality.

Since this is such a hot topic today, it is fair to make certain we obtain as much clarity as possible, including extra time, teaching, and open discussion. This does not make me Pro the Agenda nor Phobic the Agenda nor of any people. I simply want to study the Bible.

Matthew Vines, at the time of this post was 21 years old, in 2012. He studied at Harvard for 2 years before devoting himself full time to a Biblical Interpretation of this issue and subsequently creating a non-profit with the goal of changing mainstream Christian teaching concerning sexual orientation, gender identity, and acceptance of the LGBT community.

As we have just studied a majority of these Biblical texts ourselves,… you will hear Matthew interpret these passages quite differently.
It would be healthy for you to hear him, since massive numbers of “Evangelicals” under 35 are changing their opinion on Christian Homosexuality.

At minute marker 16:50 in the video he begins dissecting the 6 main Biblical passages.
Before this time in the video he has also looked at creation of man and woman in Genesis.
As he reviews the 6 main passages, and other supporting passages, can you notice where he does offer some helpful incite, while at the same taking tremendous interpretive leaps that he will summarily state as fact without skipping a beat. For instance his reference to Matthew 10 and the sin Jesus is referring to? Is that true? Go look for yourself.

At minute marker 24:00 and following he does away with all Levitical Law using the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15. Therefore now no prohibitions against incest, bestiality, polygamy… etc… since the “law” has ended and Jesus doesn’t prohibit these…???
Matthew is presupposing in his interpretive method that there is no distinction between Jewish Ceremonial Law and Moral Law? Did you catch that? Is that correct?

It can be incredibly difficult and frankly not totally possible to look at anything without some subjectivity. We should recognize this, be willing to consider the other’s view point,… and then try to handle God’s word correctly so that we can know the difference between right and wrong.

In the end… even knowledge will fail… but love never will.
In all things let’s “Love God and Love People”!
Pastor Mark Patterson

Your Pastoral Philosophy of Worship?

The Pastor, Priest, Preacher, Teacher in the Worship Service
Which do you believe is best, what does your church practice, of course it could be a mix.

1)  You believe the “Pastor” should present something gentle and nothing too deep.  Let real study occur in small groups, not Worship.

2)  You believe the “Priest” should focus on the Sacraments, in this special “moment” of Worship, that which only he can administer.

3)  You believe the “Preacher” should tell it like it is, and get people “saved”.

4)  You believe the “Teacher” should dive deep to expose the teachings of the entire Bible since he has the time for preparation the typical layperson does not.