I describe myself as a sober-liberal-Southern-Baptist, usually to get laughs, but it’s the truth. I am all of those things. I am 30 years old and made the decision myself to be all those things. I truly believe Satan has learned how to use Christians against each other in a remarkable fashion. He has made us truly destroy each other and our church homes. I use that word, home, in particular. We can visit other churches. We can fellowship with other Christians. We are not at war with each other. I love those cooking shows like Food truck Wars, Cupcake Wars, Restaurant Wars and even Property Wars. I think we forget that we are not in a show competing with each other, much too often. We are not here to have the largest congregation. We are here to tell people about Jesus. I think Jesus meant the lost, people who do not know him already. My mom always said, give people the benefit of the doubt. What is your motive? I have to ask myself this often. WHy do you want this? Why do you feel this way? Is it for selfish gain. Sometimes the answer is yes. That is ok, well, not really, but I’m still growing! That is why I have people I rely on to help me through difficult times. Yes, I can be a mean, nasty person. I recognize that now. jealously does not look good on anyone. Trust me.
I love my church. I know that right now, that is where God wants me. I feel that is why we should belong to a specific church. Where does God want me? Where can I be used? I know that sometimes, some people at my church wish I would stop talking. Being a liberal Southern Baptist is almost an oxy-moron these days, but guess what? I am not going to. As long as we love and respect each other, it is all well and good. Love. That is the key. Jesus died on the cross because HE loved us. We have to do everything out of love.
The church is made up of people and people are not perfect. Read that again. Growing up as a minister’s kid, I learned this the hard way. I had to remove my personal feelings from situations several times. How could they do that to me, to my dad or to each other? Sometimes people seem to lose track of their motives. I do believe that Satan is cunning. He knows what to play on. He knows you. Satan does not know you the way your Lord does, if you spend the time with Him that would bring you close to Him. WHo are you closer to? Who knows you better? I turned from the church for almost a decade. I was angry for situations that the Devil used to His advantage. When I rededicated my life I started looking for a church home again. I found something wrong with every church. Imagine that. No church was perfect! God brought it to my attention that it wasn’t about me! Whoa. What a thought. My husband and I made the decision to join the church I had been a member of all along.
Now, are there things that need improvement? Yes. Is everything perfect? No. Is everything perfect? No. BUT…. the theology is sound, the members are friendly and love Jesus and me AND they want to witness to people about their love for the Lord. Your criteria for a church home can be different. THat is why it is YOUR church. I do not understand why we feel the need to bad mouth other churches. We are all here fighting the same fight. We are all fighting for our God. We are here to be positive witnesses for the Christian faith, telling others about Jesus’ undying love. A love that he literally died for. He created us as very different people. I believe He did that on purpose. That is what free will is all about. We have to choose him and choose to love each other.
Our biggest enemy, as Christians, is ourselves. We can be so awful to each other for no gain except our own selfish pride. Lately, there has been movement between churches and some friends of mine. I know that initially, it hurt. I get that. However, we need to rise above and be happy that they found the best place to serve. We can can see each other at different times. If that friend was truly important, we can meet for an outside Bible study or just for fun! There is no law that says we must go to church with the people we like. We can learn a lot from a variety of other people. We have to remember, our goal is to show God’s love and win the lost. Not to battle it out to the death like some Biblical hunger games.(Yes, I am obsessed with Young Adult Fiction.) I do feel the need to remind people, this is post New Testament. We are all about Jesus’s love! I am not saying to forget any part of the Bible or let anything slide. I am saying that we are not called to judge each other’s sins, just love.
So, as Easter approaches, remember we are not stealing Christians from other churches. Bahahaha. (Sometimes my brain is very literal and I imagine crazy robbery scenes.) We are telling people who do not have a church home about ours and about our faith. We want people to know about our love for our church and our God. We also want them, more importantly, to know about the unconditional love He has for us. This love is purely based on the cross and the man that died on that cross, Jesus. We can talk about denominations all day long. I am sure it would be a fascinating converstation.I would be more than happy to talk to you about it, actually. But for right now and for this post, what is important is just the cross. I am not hear to tell you what to believe. I think it should always be your decision. It was always mine, even as a PK. God wants it to be yours. Love. Love each other, no matter what. That is what we are called to do. Imagine if we all worked together! As one church that built each other up instead of tearing each other down! Take away the gossip and lies. Replace it with prayer and encouragement! Remember, it is not about you. It is about saving the lost.
Do everything in love. 1 Cor. 16:14
We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 JOhn 4:8
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8
Love your neighbor as yourself. Romans 13: 9
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16