But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him.

It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:27-31)

Things Aren’t Always What They Seem To Be

In this piece at Apprising Ministries I bring out some pertinent background information, which up until this time I haven’t chosen to share publicly. Prior to being saved by God in April of 1987, in my secular career, I had been an award-winning morning drive radio personality and programmer in the Northeast. In addition, along with later being a professional musician in Los Angeles, I had also won awards as a standup comic. As far as the music goes I was solo/acoustic guitar singer-songwriter with a style kind of a cross between Stevie Ray Vaughan and Bruce Springsteen and the Goo Goo Dolls.

Please know that I am so very thankful that God kept me from becoming “successful,” even though I was actually signed to two different record labels. For a time I was even a street musician on Pine Avenue in Long Beach, CA also playing venues in Redondo Beach, L.A. itself, and even Compton. I came as close to secular success as having a record company in New York city, which is now bankrupt, ready to release my first CD on the recommendation of Peter Brown, who at the last minute opted to go instead with the group Phish. But no doubt the Lord was patiently protecting me until He would eventually refocus me into what I am doing now.

I only feel led to bring this out now that one might be able to see that I do have the right background to understand someone e.g. like Rob Bell. You see, back in 1994 I was once myself a young pastor who planted a mission church. It was called Rock Springs Mission Church and located in heavily Mormon Rock Springs, WY. At that time I even had my secular rock trio Destination Unknown in addition to being a pastor coming out of my church. So in the early 90’s I was actually doing the emerging thing even before there was an emerging thing; playing in bars and trying to make Christianity fit the “culture” of that day all around me. The fact is that I also began to have questions and doubts as did/does Bell.

However, there was one very significant and crucial difference; I resigned my pastorate and then set out to really get to know God through personal research. I told the Lord that I loved Him, but ethically I felt that my knowledge was insufficient for me to teach others. I simply wasn’t comfortable teaching what I had not personally researched and/or experienced. Long story short; unlike Rob who (for whatever reason) decided to to seek human counseling, and there is a place for that, and continues sharing his doubts with others I personally opted to go the route of “spiritual wilderness” ala Paul in Galatians 1.

It was there where I would meet Jesus Christ for real and He has since been transforming me into someone who today has the privilege of encouraging and teaching people, and even other pastors, literally from around the world. Men and women, I will be the very first to tell you that I simply do not deserve the kindness that God has shown me. However, as Jesus said when one is forgiven much they will also love much, and so I am fiercely devoted to my Master—no matter what; to the end. May the Lord alone be praised, I do happen to know a whole lot more about the methodology of the Emerging Church than many would have thought previously.