My Story: Martín

My Story is a series of testimonials from a variety of people that have been impacted by DSBC. They have been asked to share their unfiltered perspective on faith, Jesus, church etc. These stories are shared with the goal of hearing from others and equipping our church family to work towards a Jesus-centered unity as diverse group of misfits.


Martin’s Story

I’ve been a “seeker” for as long as I can remember.

Goaded by a nagging sense of disconnection and insecurity, I’ve long had a desire to know the peace and stability that I see in the faces of the deeply devout.  While I didn’t grow up in a pious home, I’ve always known that my life is ultimately not my own, but rather is guided by a benevolent force that runs through us all.

Despite what sounds like a strong setup for living a Jesus-centered life, my path hasn’t been so direct.  

To be completely honest, I’ve actually held an aversion to the institution of the Church and to some of its practitioners.  

This was based on observing certain, very vocal religious political leaders angrily judging others under the banner of their Christian faith. I also watched as their crosshairs fell on those I consider the underdogs in our community – immigrants, the poor, the LGBTQ community, minorities and those of other faiths.       

When I eventually found my way into the DSBC community, it wasn’t because I had overcome the view I held of “team Jesus”.  

It was in spite of it. 

The thing that got me was an article that I came across in the New York Times profiling Pastor Caleb and the work that the Church had done to support Afghani refugees.  I have always been deeply moved by the refugee journey, going back to exposure I had to the Phoenix community of the Lost Boys of Sudan, and up to today with the current refugee crisis both Afghanistan and Ukraine . 

Learning that a small Bible Church in my home town was spearheading an effort to raise money for refugee resettlement compelled me to reach out to those “judgy” Christians and see if there was a way I could help.  

If nothing else, I thought it would be a cathartic experience for me to work towards a common cause with those who I often saw as opponents in the crafting of America’s social agenda.

Anyone familiar with DSBC can probably guess where this story goes…  

I was immediately overcome by the warm welcome that Caleb and others showed me.  At the forefront of that was the realization that I was completely accepted for who I was, the convictions I held, and even for my qualms with how the mainstream Christian Church defines its values.  

To my great surprise, many DSBC’ers even shared those concerns!  

Nothing is more welcoming than an environment where you are free to be your complete self, with nothing held back.   

At that point, I found myself moved to dig into DSBC beyond just its work on behalf of refugees.  

I decided to begin attending services, participating in a Rooted group, and even went out and got my first Bible! 

What I have come to value most in that experience is the introduction to a view of Christ’s teaching that I didn’t know existed – one of unwavering Love for all people. That extends beyond interpretation of scripture and to how Church members relate to the world and those in it.  

I am floored by how DSBC’ers express that same Love towards me.  

Somewhere along the way, I developed the belief that love must be earned, and that it’s fleeting – one wrong step, and it’s gone.  But here is Caleb or Mark (one of the Elders) or others openly sharing their Love for me, without any semblance of precondition.  

My brain and my heart can’t quite comprehend that just yet.  But I know that it’s real.  And I know it’s divinely inspired. 

Upon reflection, I  realize that I held an erroneous understanding of what Christianity is really about.  However, as misguided as my view was, I know that it is not at all an uncommon one.  

Frankly, I think the Church has a ‘branding problem’…  

…people like me don’t necessarily have exposure to the authentic teachings of Jesus.  Rather, what frames our impressions are the twisted messages of judgment coming out of those claiming the banner of faith (seemingly always with the loudest megaphones), to further a political or social agenda wholly devoid from that underpinning of unshakable Love.  We then use these faulty messages as a broad brush to color our interpretation of what Christianity is all about. 

While I’m happy to have a different point of view today, my faith is still a work in progress.

Honestly, I feel like I’m only beginning to get the faint outlines of what that commitment to Jesus really means. 

But I do know that at DSBC, I am surrounded by people who are helping me to understand, through example, how to live a healthier and happier life, and one with Christ’s message of Love at the center.