Articles By Klinton Silvey

Mere Christianity

Mere Christianity

Mere Christianity, by C. S. Lewis, is known as one of the three most influential books to impact the evangelical community since 1945. I have never taken the time to read it. However, I am doing so now. I indicated to a friend what I was reading. He immediately lit up and said, “When I started, I couldn’t put it down.”

It has been an intriguing journey for me. The problem I have with most Christian apologetic writers is they ask questions I never really considered.

I grew up in a trusting environment. Things appeared to be black and white in my little world. My family defined right and wrong. Respect for authority of a trustworthy source was expected and given. Most information I received came from reliable, trustworthy relatives. This was true if the information was about things on the farm or around the house. It was true of relationships and many other areas of life. This trust level spilled over into my faith training and the teachings I received from those who taught the Bible. They were convinced of what they shared. I trusted them. The information they shared was consistent with their values and lifestyle. Even when they taught me about a man that lived 2000 years ago who walked on water, healed the sick, died, yet came back to life, I believed. These teachings were reinforced by the Holy Spirit in my heart and head.

Eventually I encountered doubters, skeptics, and opponents of what I had trusted my all and my eternity. Legitimate questions were presented and I had to think deeper. My sources needed to be confirmed as it related to truth and that which could stand the test of time. My faith is the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen. One of my favorite phrases in the Bible is from Hebrews 11, “By faith we understand …” For me, this is enough. It is confirmed by the Spirit and has been tested repeatedly throughout life.

Then there is a revelation, a command. “Go and make disciples of all … baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe ALL THINGS I have commanded you.” An assignment I had to take seriously. Now I find myself confronted with sincere skeptics, people who live in a world of distrust. As kids these folks have been lied to, hurt and not taught by reliable, trustworthy folks. So coming to grips with the idea of an Invisible Creator to be worshiped which includes a Man-God whose presence today is described as an Invisible Spirit who claims to have a personal plan for each human presented by means of ancient manuscripts that have been rather remarkably preserved and translated into a language we can understand today is difficult for others. I have been convinced and I stake my present and my future on the claims of Christ. People like C.S. Lewis help me to know the questions I did not know to ask so that I might be better prepared to fulfill the assignment God has called New Heights to fulfill.  Go! Make! Baptize! Teach! Observe! I have commanded you!

And you! And you! And you!

Weeknights and Resources

New Heights started with phrases such as “Come as you are”, “No perfect people allowed”, “Love God & Love Others” and “We want to remain, God-centered, Bible-based, Spirit-led, Outward-focused and Community-minded.”

At New Heights we hope to create a safe place for folks to come to investigate the claims of Christ on their schedule and God’s timeline. When someone discovers a personal relationship with Jesus, we expect them to learn with us follow Christ in all things He has taught.

AWANA
AWANA is an acronym for Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed. AWANA is a
children’s and youth ministry that focuses on the Bible. Bible lessons are shared each
week Game time is always fun. A portion of the weekly sessions include AWANA
Book Time. Each age group has a book they will work through, as they progress awards
are earned and “AWANA Bucks” are given to spend at the AWANA Store we prepared 3
or 4 times throughout the year. AWANA is in session during the school year and meets
on Wednesdays from 6:15 to 7:45 PM. AWANA starts in the fall with those 3 year old
through Jr. High students.

Base Camps (Small Groups)
We want everyone at New Heights to be in a Base Camp. Base Camp ministry is for all
age groups from birth through our oldest adults. Sunday mornings the preschoolers and
children ministries have their Base Camps during the worship times. The Youth generally
meet on Sundays at 5:00 pm. We have adults meeting at various times at church and in
homes. Presently we have a women’s group that meet on Sunday morning after the 1 st
worship service. We have two groups that meet on Sunday evenings, a group that meets
on Mondays, a group that meets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Periodically there will be
a short-term ladies study on Tuesday evenings.

Right Now Media
New Heights subscribes and makes available to anyone looking for some video studies
on Right Now Media. To sign up for this resource, one will need to provide an email
address to the pastor or church secretary. There are literally 1000s of Christian studies
that target a variety of topics from apologetics to Veggie Tale videos for the children.
Most popular are the studies that focus on one book in the Bible at a time.

Sunday Mornings

A typical Sunday morning at New Heights runs something like the following:

First, you will need to chose a service to attend. Our normal service times are 8:30 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.  Once you arrive, you are welcome to any combination of cereal, donuts, juice and coffee you like.

We offer a nursery for babies and children’s classes during the worship service, but you are absolutely welcome to keep you kids with you in the worship service. However, if you would like to send them to class, the classes are divided by the following ages: 2-3; 4-K; 1st-2nd grade; and 3rd-6th grade.

Dress casual or dress up, it’s your choice at New Heights. Our worship style is contemporary and our priorities are loving God and loving you and your family.

New Heights attempts to create a safe place for anyone to investigate the claims of Christ and to know God in a personal way.

8 Essential Beliefs

1. About God

God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe.  He has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  These three are co-equal and are one God.

Genesis 1:1,26,27, 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14

2. About Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  He is co-equal with the Father.  Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross.  He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death.  He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13

3. About the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God.  He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ.  He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation.  He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right.  He give every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved.  As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.

2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18

4. About the Bible

The Bible is God’s Word to us.  It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit.  It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living.  Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error.

2 Timothy 3:16;  2 Peter 1:20,21;  2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105,160, 12:6;  Proverbs 30:5

5. About Human Beings

People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character.  People are the supreme object of God’s creation.  Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin”.   This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life.

Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1, 2

6. About Salvation

Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it.  We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works.  Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty.  When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved.  Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.

Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1

7. About Eternal Security

Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity.  If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot “lose” it.  Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian.  It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security.

John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25, 10:10,14; 1 Peter 1:3-5

8. About Eternity

People were created to exist forever.  We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation.  To be eternally separated from God is Hell.  To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life.  Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.

John 3:16; John 14:17; Romans 6:23; Romans 8:17-18; Revelation 20:15; 1 Cor. 2:7-9