Wednesday, July 12, 2006

When The Role Is Called Up Yonder

I have been in a very interesting discussion lately concerning Christianity. And now I have this GREAT desire to explain my opinion concerning denominations. I titled this When The Role Is Called Up Yonder because that is just what popped in my head when I was thinking about this. I mean think about it. When we get to Heaven, are they going to classify us according to our denomination????? Okay, all you Baptist, you get over there and you Methodist, well, you go over there.....oh wait, do you think they will go alphabetically???? Oh goooooddddddddddd because I'm presently attending an Assembly of God so I'll be among one of the first, right????? Come on. Where in the Bible does it discuss denominations???? In Acts it talks about that the Christians were of one mind and one heart. Denominations is a creation of man, not God. Paul wrote and warned about divisions and is not denominations just that??? "I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, I follow Paul; another, I follow Apollos; another I follow Cephas; still another I follow Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you?" 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 I was raised in a Presbyterian church, joined Church of Christ as a young woman, attended many different denominations then joined a charismatic church and now am a member of an Assembly of God which is but isn't. That's very hard to explain and not sure I could but we have so many people who all come from so many different denominations who quite frankly feel somewhat as I do about denominations and was just seeking a place to worship God. But in today's world it is very difficult for any church (well impossible actually) to not be classified into some kind of denomination. My denomination has changed throughout my lifetime, but my status as a Christian has not. I seek my place of worship not by denomination but by the church family and where I feel a part. The title just doesn't do anything for me. I honestly hate the idea of denominations and feel like it has done nothing but cause problems and hurt many. It has also kept many out of church. I believe in the coming together for fellowship and worship and teaching. "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another" Hebrews 10:25 I also believe in daily Bible reading, devotion and worship. I have a 40 minute drive to work everyday and I'm telling you, me and God has a good thing going!!! I have my Bible cds and my Praise/Worship cds and different lesson cds. It's a perfect time for me to spend some "private" time with God. The differences between the Christian denominations are so trivial and petty until it's very sad to me. I do not believe that being a certain denomination is going to give you access to Heaven.


Blogger Wadical said...

Jesus said "I go to prepare a place for YOU." I believe he meant YOU, idividually and not collectively. He prepares a special place, just for me, and another just for you. He didn't say I go to prepare a place for your denomination. Being saved has nothing to do with denominational affiliation. (God is not Baptist) But I believe denominational affiliation CAN and does affect whether or not someone is truly led to salvation. So many churches are complicating the salvation process and are perverting and distorting the truth. I believe those churches are of the devil's design. If he wants you to miss the mark, all he has to do is skew your path just a little and he'll succeed. It's like aiming a gun at a bullseye. Just a small movement of the muzzle can have drastic effects downrange and cause you to hit nowhere near your mark. So those little twisting perversions of Biblical truth can be of dramatic importance in the future, especially the ones that deal with the salvation process.

Sorry, guess I'm still reeling from Misty's site. I don't know what else I can say to her. It's sad to see what she thinks of us. There are so many like her. People who group real, Bible believing, God fearing, Christ worshiping, Christians in with others who take the Holy Bible and distort it, edit it, and defile it. They lump us in with anyone who has attached the label of Christian to themselves. But wearing that label does not a Christian make!! They all seem so scared to put their claim to the test, to put it up against the scriptures and see if it alignes. They don't want you to do that because they know what the outcome will be.

It seems ironic, but it shouldn't be because Jesus fortold of this very situation.

Matthew 24: 3-14

3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? What is the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?"

4 Jesus answered them, "Be careful that no one leads you astray.

5 For many will come in my name, saying,'I am the Christ,' and will lead many astray.

6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you aren't troubled, for all this must happen, but the end is not yet.

7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be famines, plagues, and earthquakes in various places.

8 But all these things are the beginning of birth pains.

9 Then they will deliver you up to oppression, and will kill you. You will be hated by all of the nations for my name's sake.

10 Then many will stumble, and will deliver up one another, and will hate one another.

11 Many false prophets will arise, and will lead many astray.

12 Because iniquity will be multiplied, the love of many will grow cold.

13 But he who endures to the end, the same will be saved.

14 This Good News of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Kinda like reading today's newspaper, huh? Little do these people know that all they are doing is fulfilling Biblical prophecy.

10:43 PM  
Blogger mistyforeverlost said...

What you keep missing Wadical is that it wasn't non-christians who came up with the denominations. It was Christians themselves. We are doing nothing other then what Christians lead us to do. Once Christianity is re-united as whole...then non-believers will look at you as a whole.

You can't get mad at us for what your forfathers did to you.

4:27 AM  
Blogger mistyforeverlost said...

Auntie D, I agree with you that denominational differences does nothing but tear you down and tear you apart.

4:29 AM  
Blogger Auntie D said...

Wow, look what all I missed just because I went to work!!! LOL Great posting wadical and I agree with you. Misty (and thank you for helping tell between you and Mysti, spelling wise that is LOL) I still feel you are missing our point. I do understand what you are saying but you tell me, how do we stop others from calling themselves Christian and then doing unChristian things? How do we stop the liars and users from using the name of Christians when they are clearly not? And tell me this, how would you feel if I said because you are a nonChristian (which you have totally confused me because you stated you had been but chose to turn away and yet then you tell me you have a close relationship with God) but for the sake of this argument, let's say you are non-Christian, how would you feel if we clump you together with those non-Christians such as Charles Manson???? Hitler????? Shall I go on???? What is the difference? Does history not tell us that non-Christians have done hideous, awful, cruel things throughout history????? Therefore, are we Christians to assume if you are a non-Christian you must be a hideous, cruel person too??? Because I'm telling you now, I can't do that. I meet someone and I don't care what labels have been placed on them, I will come to my own conclusions concerning that person and how I will feel about them. I do agree with you on another point that I don't think you were making but you kinda did and that's something I have shared with my brothers and sisters in the Lord many, many times and taught when I taught Sunday School. How will the world know us if we don't shine? How will the world know we are different if we aren't???? So in that I agree, we as Christians (at least the majority of us) have failed the world by not living, truly living our faith but instead being caught up in worldly things. But where we do not agree and where I will not agree is to claim those evil persons who lied and used the name of Christianity.....the name of Jesus to do their evil deeds, I WILL NOT accept that lie that they belonged to our Lord or followed our Lord!!!! That is like saying the devil himself is Christian. No, never in a million years will I agree with that. And back to the original point I was making concerning denominations, I do not mean to offend anyone but from my Bible study, I can not find where breaking up in denominations was ever meant to be. Do I believe one denomination is better than the other? Is only one denomination the true church? Listen, I have traveled kind of a lot throughout my life and you know what? I can go to one denomination in one area and love it, agree with all the teachings, etc and then go to another area, look for that same denomination thinking it will be the same and lo and behold it's like a totally different denomination. I am serious. I have experienced that so many times. So what I do is I search for the church family where I feel at home and there is where I worship but you know what, it's important to be able to travel and still find a place of worship because the gathering together of like minded people strenghtens us and helps protect us from the evil one. It's like what Jesus uses as example many time, a wolf lays in wait for that one sheep that gets distracted and finds itself all to itself and then he strikes. The same with the devil. So although I feel greatly frustrated with what we Christians have done by allowing petty things divide us into "denominations" I at the same time acknowledge the need for us to gather together for worship. I am a very blessed person in as there are many fellow Christians where I work and we were able to identify each other almost immediately before any of us confessed it openly. So I work with active Christians and we live our faith daily and I have that uplifting on a daily basis. I am truly gratiful. I am also very aware that the non-Christians watch us and how we deal with things. Looking in the dictionary (secular one mind you) the definition for Christianity is: the religion derived from Jesus Christ, based on the Bible as sacred scripture and professed by Christians. Now that's what how the world defines us. So if that's how the world defines us, then how can it be so hard to tell the difference between the true Christians and those who just claim to be???? If a person follows and accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, they will obey Him. So if a group of people go against God's Word, then how can you call them something that by your own definition does not fit??? Okay, forgive me I have written a book. Misty, just please don't ever take my words as harsh or mean spirited towards you because that is not my heart. Jesus teaches love. Now that does not mean I am going to agree with that that goes against His Word but it does mean I can love anyone. The Bible says "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son." Doesn't say He only loves His own. He wants all to come to Him but He knows they won't and that's sad. I have to say the end to this book. LOL

3:04 PM  
Blogger mysti said...

Wow.. Trying to organize all what I read. Between your post and the comments there has been a lot said.

Aunt D I see Misty helped you figure out who is who between the two of us. It is confusing... I have even been known to write Mysti when talking with her. When I made my name up I at first wrote it as Misty. LOL I thought ohhh lets be different so I mixed it up some and came up with Mystical, and thought yep there we go Mysti for short. It works... lol I am so glad I did that!

I still have not found a church I liked. Hubby the family and I moved to a new area about 2 and a half years ago. I have been to most every church in this area and have not found one who is warm and welcoming. I grew up going to a Presbyterian church. Through out the years I have been Methodist, and Baptist ones. I have found it very important to delve into what each church believes in. If they do not follow the bible teachings, or encourage one to follow along with the bible I stop going. I also do not like be yelled at. (which i found southern baptist churches to do) Church denomination is important though i found. So many have values that do not go hand and hand with the bible. For instance , one church I went to did not believe in dancing! Where in the bible does it say it is a sin to dance. In fact the bible encourages Dancing!
Your point though is a very good one, because Christians were never meant to be devided. Yet our society has made it such.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Auntie D said...

hope, you have just described my concern. How many people are out there without church families because it's so confusing. I hesitate to even comment on this subject because I get this mental picture of misty jumping up and down with joy exclaiming seeeeeeeeeeee. But what we are discussing is NOT how the "discussion" began with her. So explaining that, we Christians need to take a look at what we are doing. In misty's defense, I can understand how it may seem confusing to her. As I said somewhere on one of the blogs, LOL, I can't keep up now, but petty differences should not separate us. I totally agree with you about the dancing before the Lord, keeping in mind the greatest example of all David. It is also all throughout the New Testament. But if that causes a problem for a brother or sister, then doesn't the Bible say, do not offend the one with the weaker mind on the subject??? I will seek out a church family who has freedom to worship as they are led although I myself, may not dance in public because it's not my personality. At the same time, I do not personally like being in a chaotic worship service. Do I think they are wrong? No, it's just not my cup of tea. So it's great that people have the freedom to worship as they feel led. I love that about our country. Worship to God that is. But I'm afraid we have allowed some to let it get out of hand. Now it's all about which is the biggest, in building and members......but what about the important part? What about the growing in numbers by saving those who are lost? Not growing because it becomes a popular church. You know what I mean? I want a REAL church family. I'm proud to say the church family I now go to strive and preach that.....Real people serving a Real God in a Real World....that's our motto. I love it. But my concern is the sudden growth spurt and the usual things that come with that. I have decided to stay with them for now because after prayer that is what I feel God wants of me. hope, don't give up your search hon. There is a church family out there for you but don't forget to look at the people. Talk to the people. That is where you find the true church. You will know when you have found your church family. Look around you and see the brothers and sisters you deal with daily or happen to meet and find out where they worship. And if nothing else, what is to stop you from doing what they did in Acts, open your home and have them in for worship and fellowship. Peel away the labels and look for content. Open your home if you can not find a church family. But I encourage you to keep searching. If I had to, I think I would attend a different one every Sunday (ohhhhhhhhhh how the denominations HATE that to be said) but hey, the Bible says do not forsake the gathering together of yourselves. Doesn't say you MUST be a certain denomination and allllllllll your money and time and energy must go to that. Nope, not one verse have I found in the Bible that says that. Look at the people and how they they walk the walk???? Then that is the family you want to join, isn't it? It's what we do EVERY DAY, that is what counts.......not just on Sundays or Wednesdays.......EVERY day, EVERY minute.....isn't that what God is looking for??? What happens closer to the end, when all the denominations are infiltrated and destroyed???? What will we the individuals do then? I have a feeling we will earnestly seek our brothers and sisters and it won't matter one bit whether they danced in church or not. It won't matter one bit how big the building is and we MOST certainly will not be popular. Shoot we won't have the buildings either. Don't limit yourself hon. Look at the walks, look at the hearts....I'm telling you throughout my life I have never found two denominational church families........same denominations....but not the same. Our church family is under the whatever you call it of Assembly of God BUT we have former Babtist (mostly too) and I can't even name all the denominations now....very, very few original Assembly of Gods. Now is it because the Assembly of Gods denomination is the perfect wayyyyyyyy. It just allows us the ability to come together and worship as we want. It's hard to explain but in this day and time, you need that protection of a whatever they call it......but then the church families can come together and they are the ones that make it what it is. You have to find a pastor who is not ruled by the denomination but by God and the teachings of Jesus Christ. They are out there but that's where having accountability is important because I have also witnessed where a pastor who has separated himself from a denomination and start off right and then let's it all go to his head and next thing you know, it's HIS church. So it is important that no one man be given all authority over the church family. I just make it a matter of prayer and ask God to lead me where He wants me. And I don't care where I go to worship (as long as it is worshipping according to the Word of God and Jesus Christ) I always "test" the teachings to the Word and pray for wisdom. The Bible instructs us on that too. I have made another book. So sorry y'all.

8:42 AM  
Blogger mistyforeverlost said...

Ok, let me try and explain this again..just because Christians at some point fought with themselves or others, does not mean YOU personally are lumped in with them or even Christians TODAY are lumped in with them as "evil-doers." All it means is that at one time, Christians did things that were not right in the name of their God. That's it.

Just like non-believers who persecuted Christians for believing. I know they are out there. Does that mean I personally am guilty and need to take offense if someone pointed out non-believers abusing Christians? Of course not. I didn't do the abuse, even though it was part of my history.

Next comes my Christian background. I was raised Christian by my step mother. I never beleived that Jesus was the son of God (which is one thing you really need to believe in order to call yourself Christian) or that he died for my sins. So when my parents divorced, I "turned" away from the Christian God. I do believe in God, just not one that will only allow you to be with him if believe his son died for your sins. Which leads me to my next point:

I'm not sure exactly which way you believe...that deeds and belief are equally important or belief is all you need to get in. However, there are many within Christianity (Wadical is one I think) that follows the idea that belief is enough to be with God at death. Under that theory, every single Christian who did evil, either in the name of God or otherwise....and truely BELIEVED Jesus died for their sins, truely BELIEVED that Jesus was the son of God....they will be going to heaven no matter what they DID. That includes the ilk's of Hitler if he truely BELIEVED. (we all know he was on a power play when he did was he did, but that is ACCEPTABLE as long as he BELIEVES). Furthtermore, even if he BELIEVES and deeds ARE important...then all he needs to do is truely feel bad about his sins and ASK for forgiveness and he is there anyway.

Which is one of the reasons non-believers will NOT decide if people really ARE Christians by how they act or how they believe. IT's not our place.

You ask what Christians can do to become one so others can clearly see the line? Follow one bible, not the many different translations that have been edited over time. Go back to the original and learn from it, follow it and do as it says (versus the current--each group within Christianity has their own version that has been edited to common words that mean completely different things then the original words and their meanings). Get rid of all the additional doctrines and cannons and get rid of all the different "Christian Labels" for lack of better wording. Become One and no longer fight amongst yourselves as to who is or who isn't.

Until then, non-believers will call all of you Christians. Because's not OUR place to decide whether or not you are.

6:14 AM  

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