As a Pastor, I get A LOT of questions. And they are all good ones (well, most of them), so keep them coming. You can fill out a Connection Card, catch me in the lobby in-between services, or comment below and I'd be happy to answer that question you've been itching to ask!
You may have heard that our word of the year at Skyline Church is THRIVE––as we head into the final stretch of the year....man have we thrived as a church body over the past nine months. We recently had another Baptism and Membership Dinner. Every week we are growing and reaching more and more people for Jesus Christ. It's truly incredible. Which is why I wanted to touch base with you about some questions that I've received recently that include 10/10/10, Baptisms, Bible Translations, Vaccine Exemptions, and can a Raider fan get into heaven? (well most of these are addressed).
Q: I've been hearing about 10/10/10 what is it?
A: This weekend on October 10 we will be kicking off our Fall Campaign called 10/10/10. As part of this kickoff, we have a ton of fun planned for your kids this Sunday. It's a huge celebration event this weekend as we embark on the vision for our church over the next 10 years. I'm excited to share the vision over the next six Sundays and I can't wait to tell you all God has put on my heart for the future of Skyline Church as we embark on something that is so much bigger than ourselves. When Jesus said, "I have come to seek and save the lost...." He meant it...and so do we. 10/10/10 is all about the strategic plan to "Light up the Scoreboard in Heaven."
Q: Should I get baptized if I was sprinkled as a baby?
A: If you've wondered about this as well, you are not alone. Did you know that about 30% of Skyline Church has a Catholic background? It's important to know though, that sprinkling a baby is not a biblical baptism. It could be considered a child dedication, but it is not a baptism. The Bible tells us to "Believe and be baptized..." That means when someone actually knows what they are doing, they are to follow the Lord Jesus Christ in obedience and be baptized.
I also was sprinkled as a baby. But, I did not know what it was or what it meant and I certainly did not believe at that time. I didn't grow up in a Christian home or even a religious environment –superstitious maybe, but not spiritual. Yet, after accepting the Lord as a young adult there came a time where I had to put on the team colors of Jesus Christ and say, "This is my team, this is who I play for!" A biblical baptism means that you made the conscious decision to choose Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
Side note: With our Child Dedications coming just around the corner, I want to be clear that we do dedicate infants and children at Skyline twice a year (in the spring and fall). But this is not a decision made for the child, it is not a sprinkling, and it is definitely not a baptism. This is an opportunity for the parents to come before the church and make a public decision to raise up their child to know Jesus. This also gives the church an opportunity to see your family, pray for you, and acknowledge that as the body of Christ, we too are dedicated to helping you raise your child in the faith.
This year we have had the honor of baptizing over 235 people. Some of you have already started to sign up for our next baptism. If you have any other questions about baptism and whether or not it's the next step for you, we'd be happy to answer any of your questions.
And yes, if you're a Raider fan, I will hold you under the water a little bit longer to ensure you're washed clean of all sin and unrighteousness. The score from Monday Night in case you missed it: (Chargers 28, Raiders 14) just sayin'.
Q: What Bible translation do you use?
A: You'll notice on the sermon notes we pass out on Sundays that I may use several Bible translations. Typically, we use the New Living Translation, New International Version, Message Paraphrase, and New American Standard Bible among others. These give a good mix of Dynamic, Formal, and Paraphrase translations to help anyone at any level of their faith journey grasp the Word of God.
One of the reasons for this is because when I first started reading the Bible I was on the road with the St. Louis Cardinals in Georgia. A teammate of mine recommended that I start reading the Bible. The only Bible available to me was the one sitting on the nightstand in my hotel room. I picked up a King James version and was instantly turned away by the formal language. It was not a language that I spoke so I thought the Bible wasn't for me. I never want that to be the case for a new person at Skyline.
Did you know that the average reading level in San Diego is 4th grade? To use a translation that is too formal for the context of which it is being spoken is pastoral malpractice. Jesus always spoke in the Lingua Franca which was the "language of the day" or "bridge language." As a pastor, I want to build bridges to help people grasp the Word of God and I want to make sure I'm communicating clearly and accurately to those who are listening to the Word of God. The Bible was not originally written in English. So I'm always looking for clear lingua franca translations of verses I'm using, without losing accuracy, so that it can be quickly applied to the listener’s lives.
Q: Is Skyline giving information on Vaccine exemptions?
A: Yes. At Skyline Church, we talk about hard topics because the Bible talks about hard topics. Every week, I am getting calls and messages from people in our church that are facing pressure for various reasons to get the COVID Vaccine. As I've already written about in previous blogs, the choice should be yours. Not the governments, not your employer, yours and yours alone. Many of you have followed up with us to let us know that your exemption has been approved! We have legal counsel in support of our stance and we are fighting the good fight for so many people who are being unlawfully threatened with the loss of their jobs. For those of you who are still going through the process, please let us know so we can be praying for you. If you're needing additional information about Religious Vaccine Exemptions, you can call our offices at (619) 660-5000.
So thankful for you! Let's continue to light up the scoreboard in Heaven together!