We need to set aside discussion regarding Brookville Baptist Church until my next Autobiography With Purpose installment so that I can give you an idea of changes that the Lord made in my theology in the years between 2006 and 2012. Actually, the word “changes” seems a little misleading, since my shift in doctrine felt more like a spiritual homecoming than a new beginning. At any rate, I’ve realized (mostly from thinking about it at 2:30 this morning) that a narrative of what happened with Brookville would make much more sense if I first explained what the Lord was doing with me between Sunday morning services.
Shortly after I joined Facebook in 2008, I re-connected with a friend I’d known when we both attended Church of the Open Door in San Rafael, California. We’d known each other since about 1977, at times being fairly close. Around the time I moved to Massachusetts to marry John, this lady and her husband also relocated their family, causing us to lose touch for roughly six years until Facebook reunited us.
To my shock and dismay, I soon learned that my friend had become heavily involved in Holy Yoga. Even though I’d known since first coming to Christ that yoga is diametrically opposed to Biblical Christianity, I began searching out Christian websites that offered biblical explanations for rejecting the practice. My search led me to Sola Sisters, a blog written by two women who had been saved out of New Age philosophies.
Sola Sisters not only helped me in my research on yoga; they addressed the problems with Rick Warren, evangelical mysticism and other issues infiltrating the church. Many of their blog posts verified misgivings I’d had regarding a wide variety of teachings and popular teachers I’d encountered over the years. In addition, their emphasis on Scripture and the Five Solas of the Reformation beautifully complemented John MacArthur’s radio broadcasts, which John and I listened to each morning.
It wasn’t long before I started clicking links on Sola Sisters’ blogroll. That practice led me to the Pyromanics blog, maintained by Dan Philips, Frank Turk and Phil Johnson. I recognized Phil Johnson as being part of MacArthur’s Grace To You ministry, so I eagerly read the blog and was introduced more fully to Reformed Theology. Through Sola Sisters I also found Erin Benziger’s Do Not Be Surprised blog, which opened doors to more discernment and Reformed Theology blogs and websites than I could hope to mention in today’s autobiography.
As I explored these blogs and studied Scripture in more systematic ways, I would often come upon ideas that my past churches (and, to a lesser extent, Brookville) had talked me out of embracing. Most notably, they refuted so-called Christian psychology and the erroneous idea of building up self-esteem. Frequently, I’d read an article and think, “Yes! I thought the passage said that!”
There were still instances, of course, when I struggled with my Armimian background. I had difficulty realizing, for example, that I couldn’t take any credit for my salvation. But through His sovereignty and providence, the Lord Jesus Christ began ushering me into Reformed Theology. The tension I experienced at Brookville came largely as a result of this doctrinal redirection, but the joy of coming home greatly eclipsed that discomfort. At last, I knew what I believed and why I believed it.