Personal Testimony Aaron Newell
I grew up in the church. I think it’s important to note this fact, as many people expect a testimony to have all sorts of juicy bits, and while my testimony is likely not a great basis for some huge evangelistic movie, it is an opportunity for people to realize that we fall down and we get up.
Growing up in the church does a few interesting things, it allows for comfort to set in, it gives an opportunity for complacency to happen and in my case gave me a real false sense of security when it came to my ultimate destination. So it happened that the church I grew up in decided to show those epic tales of Eschatology…The Thief in the Night and its sequels. I remember being a little kid scared to death that something was going to happen and I was going to wake up and my mom and dad and everyone I loved was going to be gone. So it was with great love and care that my parents took me to the pastors office the next day and I was able to make a commitment to Christ, I know it would have been possible for my mom and dad to do help facilitate this important decision, but for some reason I just wanted the pastor to do it.
I wish I could say that was the end of it, but as so often happens as one gets older they grow into and at times out of their faith. I did the same. I was one way at school and another way at home and still another way at church. This went on for a while until one year at a youth conference. I came to a realization sitting there over the Good Friday weekend that I had to make a choice. Riding the fence wasn’t really working out that well, it was time. At 16 I took the commitment I made as a kid and made it a part of my life. I wish I could say that things suddenly got easier. I wish that things all of a sudden made sense, which was not the case. Making my faith more than just a child’s stroll down the church aisle made the two Aarons and impossibility. As I moved and grew in my faith and understanding of what Christianity was and how it needed to be lived, I felt a distinct call to tell others about Jesus. To be a part of something more than just a bible study or church ministry. I also decided that I didn’t really like this call. I tried to dodge it get away from it, not accept it. That just didn’t happen. God continued to direct me toward ministry as a vocation. I attended Southeastern College, now university, even then I was questioning the way that Christianity was done, a practice that has continued to this day. I find that denominations fall into one of two camps. There are the churches and denominations that understand the importance of the social aspects of the Gospel, yet seem to discount the spiritual side of things. The importance of reaching the world takes precedence over living a life that is pleasing to God or that is at least in the process of working on their salvation. The other side of things is just the opposite, content to read, study, and learn all about God and Jesus and faith and what the rules and regulations are that keep us in the middle of God’s “perfect will,” forgetting that there is a world that needs to see authentic Christ followers, ones that know that they are broken and need help and are willing to reach out to other broken people who also need help. Both sides of the argument have already lost, mainly because they are even willing to engage in it.
So that’s me in a nutshell, my faith in a short 600 plus words. If I were to bottom line it, it would look like this.
Aaron was and is broken. He recognizes that the only one with the correct blueprint to fix him is the creator, so Aaron has placed his life into that creators hands. Sometimes it’s all of it and sometimes it’s a piece at a time, but it is there. As the creator puts the pieces back together, and fixes the parts that are broken, he gives Aaron the opportunity to share with others what it takes to have a relationship with God that has the possibility to go beyond sitting in church and singing some cool songs. One of the most important aspects of that faith is to remember that we are broken, and that we constantly need our creator to work on us and in us. Sure it hurts, but in the long run the finished product will be infinitely more desirable than what‘s here now.