Emergent Interview #3

Shawn Beaty is the Senior Pastor at North Hills Church in Oceanside. Beaty calls North Hills Church a re-plant. One and a half years ago, they took over an older church that was dying to start over again. They began with 40 people and have since grown to 120. Sitting with Beaty was Marcos Mujica (MM) and Alex Mujica (AM), brothers who serve in Beaty’s church. The church is part of the Southern Baptist Denomination.

1. In your own words, what do you have to do to get to heaven?
You have to believe on the name of Jesus Christ, that He died for our sins.

2. What will happen to you if you don’t get to heaven?
The Bible leaves that as a mystery. People usually believe it is annihilation or eternal torment. I believe that people will perish. (As part of the emerging church) we are ok with not knowing everything. The traditional church has to know.

3. Who — of the other religions that you know of– will be saved?

4. In the end-times, what will happen to non-Christians, say Jews?
The whole realm of the end times is just one of many views that the majority of historical Christians have not held. Most guys we know feel the same way. Their whole theology is, you better get it right or you will be left behind.

AM – It’s very ‘me’ centered.

Beaty – I believe Jesus will come back and right all wrongs, he will restore everything.

MM – We have a hope in a new life without sickness or death.

5. What about Catholics or Eastern Orthodox?
We all have about 20% heretic in us but these are small differences. As long as the focus is on Jesus.

6. What errors are you aware of in other faiths?
I’ve always believed if you begin slinging mud, you’re going to get yourself dirty. There are enough errors that (Christians) have made that need to be corrected.

MM – Most American churches are based on consumption.

7. What do you think of the Pope?
Love him. He’s a godly man. He’s no better than other men though.

8. Can anyone follow Jesus and vote for homosexual marriage? Abortion?
For a Christian, abortion is wrong. You can vote, but aligning yourself with a political party is idolatry. As we are the body of Christ we should be changing the world by the gospel.

9. What will happen to those who believe they are following Jesus and support abortion? Homosexual marriage?
They are wrong.

10. Who would you include in your definition of cult? Jehovah’s Witnesses?
Mormons? Buddhists? Hindus? Sikhs?
Some of these are cults. I define a cult as people who hold you to a religion to manipulate you. We can find that in Christian churches as leaders are seeking their own agenda.

11. What do you make of the idea of sainthood? What saints, if any, do you revere. To what saints, if any, do you offer prayers?
We are all saints if we follow Christ.

12. Describe what you think heaven will be like? Describe Hell? Any other
places– purgatory, limbo?
Mystery. It is eternal life. We will enjoy all of the phenomenal things we enjoy now.

13. Tell us what you know about Martin Luther, John Calvin, Thomas More, John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, Joseph Smith.
These are guys that were used by God for their time. A lot of what they dealt with, such as Calvin and predestination are no longer the issues of our time. In San Diego and the west pluralism is the issue of our time.

Each of these theological thinkers spoke to the church in their day. Luther reacted to the Catholic church.

14. What do you make of TV evangelism? Who, among TV evangelists, do you believe is the most trustworthy?
The majority of Christians don’t listen to these people. They become the stereotypes of bad Christianity, the media loves these people because they produce good stories. I don’t know any Christians that adhere to their teachings.

15. Have you ever been moved to tears by religious experience? Describe.
As a youth pastor at a prayer meeting. 30 high school students were praying for 3-4 hours. All of us felt the spirit of God. We cried tears of joy. I’m not a touchy feely dude and we’re not Pentecostal.

16. What is the relation between religion and sex? Is too much sex sinful?
What does your church teach about masturbation, contraception?
I’m always trying to have sex with my wife. I don’t think too much sex is sinful. It has to be done with parameters for people who are married. I’ve masturbated, it is lust. In Matthew Jesus said lust is adultery. I know I’m forgiven though.

18. What would be sufficient cause to ask a minister to step down? Gossiping about church members? Flirtation? Homosexuality? Adultery? Stealing money?
Adultery, stealing money