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Steven Yeadon

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    Independent Baptist
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  1. I enjoyed your article Pastor Matt. I became a Christian five years ago, and I bounced around many churches in many denominations until I found a conservative independent Baptist church. It struck me the first night as great, it had great expository preaching and seemed aimed primarily at feeding the congregation with the Word . They refuse to allow any modern music, which I thought was extreme. However, I now see it was aimed at focusing everyone on the meaning of the songs and glorifying God. It also seems a stance against the entertainment model of church music. I think the important thing is to get those singing on stage or in the congregation to focus on God, to give Him fame and praise, and to be more about the meaning of the songs than the performance of them. It doesn't matter the music style or culture if these are everyone's goals. Every single church I went to that was entertainment-centered during so-called worship had issues in other areas that sent me packing eventually. Usually a deep misunderstanding of what the Word actually says and commands.
  2. Wow, I just learned that my testimony may have been architected by God to reach lost hyper charismatics. These experiences that led me to salvation display God's power far more clearly and biblically than the so called "prophecy" of their pastors and "prophets." I am learning this after sharing my testimony with someone charismatic tonight. Of course, prophecy is gone, we receive no more doctrine for the purpose of righteousness because by the time 2 Timothy is written, the Word is sufficient (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Paul was the last apostle as to one untimely born (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). Still the seemingly miraculous personal guidance from God received by Christians at times does occur, but isn't prophecy. Prophecy is meant for the church to build it up, not for our personal journey, to include answering the big questions of what career, college, or spouse we should have. The amazing thing is that these miracles God gave me all point in the direction of very conservative Baptist churches, because that seems to be where the lambs of God are best fed with the Word.
  3. I am going to start a discussion by offering my perspective on the theology of eternal destiny. I post this to sharpen my perspective through the counsel of others. To begin, there are clear scriptures that God desires all to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:1-4), for all to come to faith in His Son Jesus Christ (John 3:16-18), for all to be disobedient but to then be shown mercy (Romans 11:32), and that He hates the death of those that stay wicked (Ezekiel 18:23, Ezekiel 33:11). A less clear but powerful verse seems to say that God forbears Judgment because He desires all to repent (2 Peter 3:8-9). God also, according to scripture, knows all things (1 John 3:20), knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10), will be at the beginning and the end (Revelation 21:6, Revelation 22:13), yet many passages and parables say that many die to go to hell and this punishment is perfectly just. Now I'm a type of compatibilist and argue that all these things are true. That God can do something that to our limited wisdom as mankind seems impossible. These are just mysteries we will understand when we are glorified before Christ. My claim is that hundreds of different logical explanations abound for how to reconcile biblical passages on eternal destiny. These explanations, whether Arminian or Calvinist are adding to what the text says by using human wisdom. I believe we should embrace all the clear teachings of scripture and leave them in tension, if they seem to clearly contradict. Am I right? Am I wrong? If I am, how am I wrong?
  4. My prayer is that abortions will eventually stop. I know this looks highly unlikely, but God can do anything. For now, I am thanking Him for stopping any abortions in America. Murders stopped are murders stopped, after all. I know we live in what seems more and more like a modern version of pagan Rome. Romans left babies with defects or that were unwanted outside as trash for the dogs to eat them. We murder babies while in the womb for the same reasons. So, I know what my prayer is up against, but I celebrate any victories God gives us in praise to Him. I know that abortion will only truly end when Christ returns and punishes the wicked.
  5. Woot! Most abortions are now illegal in Texas! We are gaining ground against the murder of unborn babies! Hopefully the momentum for justice keeps up! https://www.foxnews.com/us/supreme-court-votes-5-4-to-leave-texas-abortion-law-in-place?fbclid=IwAR1qhE6-0p3oPXY4V6yQZgBE-U7fL7tnLXwErEu1hkhJFW5r-AOoTSU4p_c
  6. Hi, My name is Steven. Below I provide my testimony of how God brought me to faith in Jesus Christ and His Gospel. My Credentials to Show I Am a Trustworthy Witness My name is Steven Yeadon, and I am a graduate from the University of Central Florida holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. I am also an independent military analyst and scholar in the field of military operations. I am published 8 times in peer reviewed journals. For brevity, I provide links to a couple of my works published by the US Military below. This article is called, “The Problems Facing United States Marine Corps Amphibious Assaults.” It is in the Journal of Advanced Military Studies on pages 141-173. https://www.usmcu.edu/Portals/218/JAMS_Fall2020_11_2_web2.pdf This article is called, “A New Combined Arms Approach for the Armored Brigade Combat Team.” It is in the Army journal Armor on pages 14-21. https://www.benning.army.mil/Armor/eARMOR/content/issues/2020/Summer/ARMOR_Summer_2020_edition.pdf Prologue My story is of someone raised in a nominal Christian home, who never truly understands the Gospel until college. That Jesus Christ died for my sins and those of the world to rise on the third day resurrected from death. That if I or anyone believes on Him and what He did on the Cross for our sins, we will have eternal life. Early in my adult life, I asked for and received miracles when I asked God in two very dark prayers. Prayers that revealed the darkness in my heart. While God is in control and all His actions are sinless, my two answered prayers exposed the depth of my sin. I knew I was a monster at heart, and needed to be saved from my sins. However, my so called faith in Jesus Christ was very shallow, while being warped and twisted by my sins. The truth is I never had faith that touched my heart, which in the bible is the seat of the will. To be wholehearted is to be whole-willed. Sure I felt like I loved Jesus, and I wanted to obey Jesus with my mind, but something deeper, my will, was never in it. I was half-hearted in my faith. My story is then of a rebel in a descent into further rebellion, unaware of his real eternal fate, eternity in hell. I would eventually find out, amidst much suffering and in the shadow of another great miracle, that my doubts had conquered my faith all along. This story is both cautionary, so others do not repeat my mistakes, and an object lesson about God’s mercy and power displayed to win a prodigal son from hell. A prodigal son that deserved none of the mercy shown to me, making it grace, unmerited favor. God Reveals Himself as the God of Nature In middle school and high school I was a Deist. I believed that a God existed but one that conformed to modern science. I later in college identified as an atheist because I was angry at God. I knew He existed, but as the scriptures say, I would not give Him thanks or honor. I became futile in my speculations as a result and my foolish heart was darkened. I became an American political liberal supporting abortion and so many other evils. Why was I so angry at God? I saw my life as painful due to illnesses that at that time were mostly undiagnosed. I made pain my God, because a Creator who let me and others suffer for what I deemed no good reason did not deserve to be God, to me. In the summer of 2004, I was engaging my Christian friends on their faith. I was given and read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, which gave me the idea the Christian faith was reasonable, even sublime. I decided I wanted to get to know this seemingly close knit society of believers guarding an important truth. I started to go to a Baptist church with my dad on Sunday. Around this time Hurricane Charley was just off the Florida coast, projected to hit Tampa. In an act of pure uncaring pride, I made a prayer I didn’t think would be answered to test God. I asked Him for hurricane Charley to hit Orlando, because I wanted to experience a direct hit from a hurricane. I saw it as a novel, once in a lifetime experience. Terrifyingly, the hurricane changed course within hours of my prayer, and it passed over Orlando on my birthday of August 14th. I was dumbstruck, and I knew I had met God at last. Now, I must communicate the fact that I do not think that God answered my narcissistic whim and changed where the hurricane hit because of it. Instead, I believe that God meant me to pray for hurricane Charley to hit my hometown. A direct hit on my hometown that He always intended for hurricane Charley. In guilt for praying for such a thing and having it happen, my dark heart sought to work off my guilt. I volunteered to help a church evacuate someone from their house that was heavily damaged by hurricane Charley. On the way back home, I wrestled with becoming a Christian, but I could not do it. I needed proof, I thought. For to me, faith was wrong compared to reason, and hope was false if it did not have a rational grounding. I needed evidence, and I would not embrace an ounce of blind faith for any reason, even if it was in Jesus Christ Who loved me and died for me. In a feeling beyond horror, on the way home, I asked God for two more hurricanes to hit Orlando that hurricane season. If that happened I knew to be a Christian. My prayer was answered when Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne smashing into Central Florida that hurricane season. However, I did not have faith in Jesus Christ. I was following the evidence instead. This would prove my downfall. I did start reading the bible in earnest in this time period. Yet, I could not understand it clearly. I read what I wanted into the bible all the time. Having been given something no other person in history can claim to have had. God sending three hurricanes to hit a city due to prayer. I then immediately go astray. I wrestle with whether it is the Christian religion or some other religion that is true. After studying the world religions, I determined that only the Christian or Jewish depiction of God allowed for a personal Being willing to answer prayers that controlled the weather. I rejected Judaism out of hand, since I found God in the Old Testament to be a terrible person without the New Testament teachings. I was Modern and Western with my thinking. I did not see the LORD and His Law as what they are: good, righteous, and holy (Romans 7:12). I in the end created two ideas of God in my head, one a New Testament loving God and the other a wrathful and terrible, and to me barbaric, Old Testament God. Shortly after this decision that the Christian God gave me three hurricanes, I get baptized a Christian without having any real faith or knowing Who God really is. My Life as a False Christian After this I go to a Southern Baptist church as a Moderate Baptist who believed women should be pastors. I believed that modern sensibilities must override a few bible verses. I also become a Charismatic Christian, lured into reading Charismatic books about miracles, exorcisms, healings, and prophecy. It seemed so exciting! I soon spend time reading these books over my bible. I would even search for prophecies and attempt to hear from God. I began to think of myself as a prophet once I start to have “visions and dreams.” I would even occasionally deliver “powerful prophecies.” That said, for two years I would grow more and more ill. I graduate college in Spring 2007. Soon after I become terribly ill and go through some of the most tormenting experiences of my life. I would spend two years in hell. I would suffer unspeakable pain beyond description every single day for a year. This was before the normal and quite unexpected sufferings life brings, some of which I experienced on top of my agony. I would get a little better in 2009, but I was still in episodes of tormenting pain almost every day. In this period of time, I really question my faith, and I have many periods of intense doubt. Where it seems my faith is but a shadow. I did occasionally pray a simple prayer in fear I wasn’t a Christian. I asked God to convict me and give me a hellish life if I was not a Christian, so as to be knocked out of complacency and be saved. Despite my suffering, due to answered prayer, I was determined to work and become great from my work. I spend a year at a private and expensive music college, since I wanted to be a professional singer. However, I was no virtuoso and I was counseled that music degrees made you a starving artist unless you are a top singer or have a niche. I would leave and decide to go to seminary feeling “called” by God to be a theologian. I spent three years studying to be a pastor, teacher, and theologian at a liberal Christian seminary. I stop going to a Baptist church and get involved in the Charismatic End Times cult called the International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC). I start going to church at an affiliate of IHOPKC in Orlando. I was truly Lost. The God of History Calls a False Prophet and False Teacher to Repentance and Salvation However, in the summer of 2013, God literally speaks to me to warn me. While trying to hear the voice of God, I suddenly start to talk against my will as if someone was controlling my words. This involuntary speech tells me that I would read about his Rose. He told me I would be wrestling with “how did she do it,” in the future. He said that should he not avenge himself for one like Rose? The voice then went on to argue that I lacked salvation. I was against suffering in faith, proving I had none. My gut reaction was to argue that since I had faith in Jesus Christ, I deserved heaven. I told the voice it was the devil himself. In scoffing pride, I asked for proof that this voice was God and it gave me a number of predictions of the future that all came true. Four examples were that I would have almost exactly three years of terrible illness again. This came true. A second was that a terrorist founded caliphate in the Middle East would arise in Syria and Iraq by a terrorist organization called ISIS. This came true a few months later. A third prediction, that I did not remember until it happened a few months after my salvation, was that Donald Trump would be elected president in 2016. A fourth, that I just didn’t remember until it all came back to me in January 2020 was that a disease called Coronavirus would happen, that would wreak havoc on the economy. I remembered this one the second I heard the news about the Coronavirus in China. At the time, in 2013, I distrusted the predictions. I even laughed at them. I was not convinced, since it all sounded far fetched. Yet, God confirmed by the world swirling all around me that it was He that talked to me. A false prophet finally met God to find out the grim truth: I was going to hell if I did not trust in Jesus Christ as my savior and repent. Shortly thereafter, as a result of a change to my treatment, I became very sick again and would stay that way until June 2016. I spent 3 years in agony. During a period of recovery three years later, I bought a used copy of the book Jesus Freaks at a Good Will, and I was convicted by the stories of martyrs for Jesus, including a young woman named Rose Allin Mount. I was shocked to read about her. I especially struggled with how she was willing to be tortured and brutally murdered with such meekness. When I read about Rose three years later and realized it was her, I was prompted to terror. I must suffer and even die for my faith if others already have. God is impartial and will be my Judge. If Rose will be avenged, I must never do anything that incurs God’s wrath in relation to a woman like Rose, such as be cowardly and lukewarm. When Rose was brave and willing to die for her faith. At first, I felt convicted to read the bible slowly and carefully to study and apply it. I found it a Herculean task to take the precepts of God’s Word to heart with my actions. However, while reading, I was struck by the reality of the resurrection of the dead and the Day of Judgment while reading 1 Corinthians chapter 15 and Revelation 20:10 through 21:8. I knew that I would face Jesus one day and be Judged by Him. Saved by Grace through the Gospel of Jesus Christ at Last I began to feel a tremendous conviction concerning my sins. I became terrified of death, because I intellectually figured I was going to the Lake of Burning Sulfur when I died. I believed this, because I knew that I had lived a life given over to sin that was completely outside God’s will for me. I also realized with shock I had never changed internally after converting to a Moderate Baptist. I was still lost in sin in my heart, I was not becoming more like Jesus Christ over time. After thinking about it, I realized I was feeling terrified of God. If I persisted in doing wrong, I knew my eternal fate at His command. I went on to become terrified of dying. However, I was not willing to admit with 100% certainty that I was going to hell. I could not imagine God doing so to me, because after such a hard life, I thought I deserved heaven. A whole month of terrified obstinance later, I was on the way home from a family dinner. I felt convicted to stop pretending that I didn’t have doubts about Christianity. I let my doubts finally crash in. I concluded in the presence of such doubt that I could not support believing in Jesus Christ and His Father on evidence of three hurricanes in 2004. Knowing at last what the problem was, I had to admit the truth in me for years, I never had real faith. I had coasted on the evidence given to me. I immediately thought of Romans 10:9 which states “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.“ I already considered Jesus my Lord and God, and I had confessed it openly for years. However, I had done so in vain without doing God’s will. This was something I was already repenting of at this point, but I knew that trying to obey God alone would not save me. I knew my real problem from my days as an atheist. So, in fear of God and His Day of Judgment, I decided to believe with all my heart, on certainty without sight, that Jesus rose from the dead and that the bible was true. This included the Gospel, that Jesus Christ died for my sins and those of the world to rise on the third day resurrected from death. That if I or anyone believes on Him and what He did on the Cross for our sins, we will have eternal life. Upon doing so I felt great light inside me. My feelings changed instantly from what felt like great darkness to great light. This happened on June 14th, 2016. Shockingly, the following days showed my internal world to be changed: Many sins I wrestled with hardly bothered me at all anymore, my mind became far more sober, I no longer felt great darkness in me all the time, I wanted to earnestly live a holy life and separate myself from unholy things, I became much better at fighting my temptations, I lost most of the embarrassment I felt when sharing Jesus to others, I found it possible to follow the commands of the Bible that I had found impossible to live up to, and my mental health also improved. I finally accepted the Gospel message on faith, and I would live it out for real this time. Since then, I have been in periods of great pain, sometimes tormenting, but I suffer for Jesus now. Knowing the devil is my tormentor through illness. It feels Satan has targeted my faith for four years, but thank God! It only gets stronger! I cannot wait for my reward!
  7. That makes more sense, since you cannot turn your face to someone you have your back to. The only part that gets me now is why those cold in faith would call out to God in their distress as told to us in Jeremiah 2:27. I mean, as explained to us elsewhere in the bible, the Israelites had such faith that Jerusalem, the holy city, was unbeatable.
  8. I may be wrong. I did some research, since I believe you may be correct in that people are turning their backs to God instead of just their face. However, my research bore out my original conclusion that people are turning their face towards God in this verse while keeping their back to Him. I read these verses for my research: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Turning-One~s-Back Jeremiah 18:17 and Exodus 33:23 are verses that express your point that a back is turned and a face is not shone. In this case God's figurative back and face. However, that is not the same language in the English in both Jeremiah 2:27 and 32:33, as I cannot read Hebrew. In these two verses it appears as if Israel is turning its back to God while having their face towards Him, hypocritically. I would back this up in Jeremiah 2:27 in that the Israelites are willing to turn to God to save them at all, but otherwise do not love Him. That said, I have learned a lesson in that the bible does not say if the Israelite faith in Jeremiah is a lukewarm faith. Since I am unsure if the Israelites have a lukewarm response, I cannot connect the verses in Jeremiah with the verses on the lukewarm church. Thank you!
  9. I don't subscribe to the churches in Revelation pertaining to church ages, but I have noticed that the scandal here is not that most Christians are lukewarm. I reserve the distinction of being lukewarm for the regular churchgoer who contributes half-heartedly as if to mock God and might tithe say 10% of his or her income but would never consider going more. Who volunteers at church on Saturday but is just like everyone else it seems when they hit the work week. This definition lets me know when I myself backslide and have to love God with a whole heart, remembering my first love. Something that convicts me tonight since I have been very busy and keep making excuses not to read the Word. No, this is a church in America, compared to the more faithful and persecuted non-Western church, that is getting cold in its love for those outside the fold and even within it. I would never call a group of people who turn their faces towards God but put their backs to Him lukewarm. Jeremiah 2:27 shows that utter ruin and destruction is reserved for those who turn their faces to God but keep their backs to Him. They are like the Pharisees more than a Disciple halfhearted in their love for God
  10. Thank you for your reply's. I will have to read that article you linked me Jordan Kurecki. I thought I was in a solid bible-believing church until I started to read the bible closely to study it. I now ask pointed questions and get responses like "God will fix our doctrinal problems in heaven, so don't worry too much about doctrine" from a church leader I respect highly. I increasingly feel isolated and need to find a church. Jordan recommended one and things have quieted down enough to go to a new church this Sunday. It has taken me time because of my desire to stay at my Southern Baptist church, which is just not going to happen. Also, what do you guys and gals think of Baptist Board? Something feels too confrontational about that board to really try and fellowship well. -EDIT- Nice article, thank you.
  11. Someone on another message board said: "today...people do not read [the bible], do not study [the bible], and would rather be entertained. They cant handle the diligent study that comes from books, so they prefer videos." How big a problem is this in our churches? Is it a problem at all? I have noticed the journey in my own church to playing the Lion King and the Matrix on the big screen to excite people into studying the bible. I have seen the relentless videos before the sermon or even in place of the sermon, not to mention the video studies on a weekday night. All of which are appealing to people without a high reading level. Reading levels tend to be low in America and I do see lots of people bringing their Message and New Living Translation bibles to church. I personally do not like this trend as it seems to exalt the teacher(s) not the Word. In addition, a lot of videos nowadays do not teach and preach the Word but are more homiletic, relying on everyday things, like the Lion King, to teach the Word. I also find this meshing of the very holy and the downright unholy, like the Matrix, cause for concern. However, the alternative is to really just buckle down as churches and help people read better in all age groups. Something that may be needed if studying the Word, rather than learning form teaching and preaching on the Word, is the goal. Then again, many were illiterate back in the day and had to rely on the few, even in early churches, who could read and study and thus teach and preach. I'll also add that something feels very shallow in terms of study about many Christian videos. They rarely if ever get any deeper than the Lifeway Sunday School bible studies. To me, these magazines are definitely not a mature study of the bible and contain a perspective that is one dimensional.
  12. Thank you for your counsel. I will have to find a church where I can help out with visitation. I am currently between churches. Honestly, I was told by friends at my last church to make a book out of my testimony. I guess I got wrapped up in the idea of making a book because of them, and the idea I could help the Kingdom with my story. I see now, though, that my testimony doesn't need to be a book. In fact it can just be a short story that builds to an invitation. I already have a rough draft of that short story, so I do want to use it to help the Kingdom, but you are right that I need to learn how to witness to others face to face and seek counsel from those around me on how I witness before jumping into something like a short story.
  13. Thank you for your wise words. I now know I was saved a few months ago when I finally accepted I was a wretched little sinner who needed Jesus to save me from hell. You are right, knowledge does not save. I just have to trust the Word.
  14. Now, twelve years after my baptism, I was reading the bible in one of the most trying times of my life. I was struck by the reality of the resurrection of the dead and the Day of Judgment while reading 1 Corinthians chapter 15 and Revelation 20:10 through 21:8. I knew that I would face Jesus one day and be judged by Him, and I began to feel a tremendous conviction concerning my sins. I then began to feel an overwhelming conviction of my sin, and I became terrified of death as I figured I was going to the Lake of Burning Sulfur when I died. I believed this because I knew that I had lived a sin riddled life for twelve years. As a result of this experience, I struggled with how to be sure I was saved for days and days, and I became terrified of dying because I did not know where I would go when I died. Now, some of my fellow Believers might tell me that this was just a time of doubt about my salvation, but God spoke through my circumstances soon after in a shocking way. In the days in which I wrestled with whether I was saved or not, I was on the way home from my sister’s apartment while riding with my dad. On this trip home I finally let down my guard and accepted my doubts. My doubts flooded in, and in the presence of my doubts I felt no confidence that Jesus rose from the dead. I even questioned God’s existence after being given three hurricanes in response to prayer. I immediately thought of Romans 10:9 which states “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.“ I already considered Jesus my Lord and had confessed it openly for years, but in fear of God and His Day of Judgment I decided to believe with all my heart on pure, blind faith that Jesus rose from the dead. Upon doing so I felt great light inside me and I my feelings changed instantly from what felt like great darkness to great light. What we have as my relationship with God up until now is the relationship between a scoundrel and his Magistrate. However, it is also the story of a prodigal son of course. Shockingly, the following days showed my internal world to be changed: Many sins I wrestled with hardly bothered me at all anymore, my mind became sober at last instead of being deranged and scheming, as it had always been since high school, I no longer felt great darkness in me all the time, I wanted to earnestly live a holy life and separate myself from Hollywood culture, I became much better at fighting my temptations, I lost the embarrassment I felt when sharing Jesus to others, I found it possible to follow the commands of the bible that I had found impossible to live up to, and my mental health disorders also improved. However, I grew scared that I still wasn’t saved and on several occasions I made a confession of Jesus Christ as Lord to a friend, my dad, and my Celebrate Recovery group. So, how could I be saved years after my baptism and conversion? First, the Bible warns us that mental assent to God’s existence does not save us. In James 2:19 it states “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder.” Second, the bible in Romans 10:10 tells us that saving belief in Jesus is found in the heart, the core of our being, when it states “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” This means that a faith in Jesus that is not down to the heart won’t save us. To me the greatest evidence that I was saved twelve years later is my near instant change of heart when I believed on faith that Jesus rose from the dead. I had a filthy heart that didn’t change after my conversion and baptism, but my heart changed radically forever when I came to heartfelt faith in Jesus Christ. Simply put, I have come to the knowledge that evidence is not going to save me as it cannot tell me who Jesus is. The bible is going to tell me who Jesus is, and I have to take it on faith.
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