"Confessions of a Pastor" Q&A Video Series

So Far we have 11 video's online at http://www.netcastchurch.org/#/video-and-media

In this video series called "Confessions of a Pastor" we take some of the top questions that we have been asked from people in Greater Boston, and seek to answer them. The questions are:

1. Can you trust the bible?
2. Why are Christians such hypocrites?
3. Is sex a bad thing?
4. What is sin?
5. What do I do to become a Christian?
6. Why do churches want my money?
7. Why another church in the Boston area?
8. What? No sex outside of marriage?
9. Who is this dude, Jesus?
10. Does God hate some of us?
11. Why do Christians think they're better than everyone else

Check it out. http://www.netcastchurch.org/#/video-and-media

Because I cannot....Colossians 1:9

Colossians 1:9 says it all.

As I am getting very close to moving to Beverly, MA; I am just overwhelmed with both joy and anxiety as I seek to begin to do what the Lord is calling me to do. If you would have asked me 2 years ago as we were starting to think through the church plant and all that we envisioned, my thoughts about this would have been totally different. I honestly used to think that I could do this. I used to think that, "if I just preach good enough" or "if I am just funny enough" or "if our music is just anointed enough" or "if our welcome team is just nice enough".........etc etc etc; then we will have a great church plant. I now recognize that I am nothing; just a pawn in the hands of a loving and gracious God.

The past 2 years of my life have literally been life altering. I want to thank dudes like Wagoner, Gene, Dave P, TJ, Pearce, my team and board, my A29 assessment team, and the many others who have come around me to both encourage me and rebuke me. Most importantly I want to thank my wife and kids who have loved me so well though all of the transition and have modeled Christs love so well through this.

As I was with the Lord this morning, I came across a verse that I have probably read 100 times, but today it hit me hard. Colossians 1:9 says "since he day we heard of you we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding."

Paul gets it and sadly I have not gotten it. Theologically I understood it, but my heart was deceived to think that I was more than I am.

As I am moving to a dark area of our world, where sin and paganism, idolatry and wickedness, unbelief and doubt, are all the norm; the only way to fight this is prayer that "God" not "Matt", will fill people with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. So, today I am praying as I type, as I read and as I drink my coffee. Lord, for those who I meet in Greater Boston and have an opportunity to love and tell about Christ; fill them with the knowledge of your will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.....because I cannot.


Rescue Theology

When our heart stops beating, there is absolutely nothing that we can do to rescue ourselves. We are dead. We cannot play a part in helping those who are trying to resuscitate us. In the same way, spiritually, the human heart is dead. There is nothing that the human can do except for rely on the one can rescue us. We play no part in being rescued. The Father who sent the Son who gives the Holy Spirit is fully responsible for it. This is why Colossians 1:13 says "For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves." This should not anger us, rather it should lead us into worship. Deep Worship.

Is irresistible grace really that important?

My good friend Elliot got some heat because he said on his FB page that being a Christian has NOTHING to do with what you DO or what you DON'T do, but has ONLY to do what what you BELIEVE. After watching some responses I realized that the conversation turned into a Theology discussion, primarily in dealing with Irresistible Grace. Although I am not a hyper-Calvinist, this doctrine is biblical and most true to the gospel. When we move away from this doctrine, we get messed up with faith and works. That is why it is such a big deal to the gospel.

The doctrine of irresistible grace recognizes that the Bible describes natural man as “dead in his trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1; Ephesians 2:5; Colossians 2:13) and because man is spiritually dead he must first be made alive or regenerated in order to understand and respond to the Gospel message.

The reason this doctrine is called “irresistible” grace is because it always results in the intended outcome, the salvation of the person it is given to. It is important to realize that the act of being regenerated or “born again” cannot be separated from the act of believing the Gospel. Ephesians 2:1-10 makes this clear. There is a clear connection between the act of being made alive by God (Ephesians 2:1,5) and the result of being saved by grace. (Ephesians 2:5,8). This is because everything pertaining to salvation, including the faith to believe, is an act of God’s grace.

So, that means that when one receives Christ and becomes a Christian it is not the person who is doing anything. Rather it is the person and work of the Holy Spirit who is giving someone grace to receive. Therefore, God gets all the credit and we get none. If we are dead in our sin but yet can make ourselves alive enough to grab hold of Christ, than we get credit. The scriptures give all credit to Christ. Romans 3 is clear that no person ever seeks after God. It is only the Holy Spirit who seeks after man. Therefore, we cannot accept what we are not looking for, but rather Christ, by grace, grants us salvation which makes us a Christian.

Therefore, in scripture you never see some accepting Christ, but rather receiving Christ.

All that said, we are correct to believe that true faith leads to action. However, that was not what Elliot was chatting about, he was saying that no matter how hard you work or what you do, none of that will make you a Christian. I know many good people, most who are more generous than me, love better than me, serve better than me, and may be better husbands and fathers than me......however they are not Christians, because being a Christian has NOTHING to do with what you DO or what you DON'T do, but has ONLY to do what what you BELIEVE. (as put by my friend Elliot which caused me to write this. )

Thank You Netcast Partners

I just wanted to drop you a note and say Thank You for helping us move forward.

This past year has been an incredible journey for Beth and I. We have finished up our internship at 1.21 Church in Winston Salem and are in the process of moving to North Shore Boston to plant Netcast Church. Of all that we learned and been through this year, none of it would have been possible without you. You believed enough in what Christ was doing in us and financially supported us in a generous way so that we would be most prepared for this challenge. Thank you for that.

As we move forward to the future I am sure that there will be more needs. Currently, for the next year, we already have over 50% of our budget committed by some of our financial partners, so we are off to a great start. Right now, I am not asking for anything specific until we actually move and have more of an idea what our needs are. Most church plants take 2-3 years before they are able to support themselves without any outside income.

Thank you for all that you have sacrificed to help us. I will share with you a great section of scripture that Paul wrote to those who financially supported him.

Philippians 4:18-19 "I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
Thank you for being a partner with us in this journey. You may not feel as much of a part of our progress as you are, but let me assure you that without you, none of this would be possible. We love you dearly.

Matt and Beth

Final Update from Greensboro, NC

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to give an update to everyone on what the latest news is with Netcast Church. This is probably the last email that I will be sending out from Greensboro, as we are all set to move in the beginning of August. The past month we have seen some unbelievable things pertaining to the church plant. We have had an amazing family commit to fund 1/2 of our 1st years budget and we have found a home on the North Shore of Boston. Beth and I spent a week in Boston last month, preaching and finishing up the assessment with the North American Mission Board.

In all, Beth and I are doing well emotionally. We are excited to get moved and settled in. Beth is excited to get the kids all set up for school as this is Abby's first year in public school and Daniel will be in 1st grade.

Please keep us in yoru prayers as we give our lives to spreading the wonderful news of Christ to the Greater Boston area. I would recommend that you check out www.netcastchurch.org/#/video-and-media where we have 9 video's in which we answer some of the main questions that Bostonians are asking us. The questions were polled from non-church people on the North Shore. Enjoy.

To Christ be all credit and glory.
Matt Chewning
Lead Pastor of Netcast Church
www.netcastchurch.org matt@netcastchurch.org

Wesleyan/Holiness Camp to Reformed Movement

Thoughts from a friend who has grown up with major inflence from the Wesleyan camp and now is a part of the Reformed movement.


As I think about the reformed position, it seems to me the issue has more to do with how Wesleyans and Reformed Christians view sin. Growing up, I was taught that ALL sin separates us from God and is cause for judgment. Therefore, we must live HOLY SINLESS lives. This makes it difficult for folks in this tradition to acknowledge sin in their lives because to do so would, for them, would mean their salvation is in jeopardy. It also creates enormous confusion because we all know we are not perfect. So many struggle honestly with what Christian Perfection looks like. Terms like, carnality and living in the flesh were substituted for a believers faults.

The Reformed Christians don't seem to struggle with this simply because they can acknowledge their sin is covered by the blood of Christ. (THE GOSPEL) They understand this doesn't mean "we go on sinning so that grace my increase" but see it as working out our salvation with fear and trembling. Since my sin is not counted against me, I'm more free to confess it and be healed. Obviously, my sin will hurt me and others. Certainly unconfessed sin is the most damaging, but true believers, in the reformed camp, don't see Christs work on the cross STOPPING as a result of their sin.