I am often amazed at the differences among the body of Christ. We read the same Bible and yet come up with so many differing conclusions. How can the same words speak so differently to so many? I believe that this partially goes back to our personality and "makeup". God created us to think and come to conclusions therefore we have the ability to reach different conclusions.
There are some basics that cannot be argued, however, they are so black and white that they are foundational. Jesus is the Son of God...No man comes to the Father but by Him...The taking of innocent life is murder...Fellowship with other believers is important...and more! These things, and more, are spelled out. The ten commandments are not wishy washy. They were carved in stone!
I find myself saddened by the competition and finger pointing, (although, I am guilty of it too) that goes on between individual bodies of believers. Do you not think that often times we settle on a church because the others in that church are similar in their thought processes, personalities and likes and dislikes in worship. This does not make every other church automatically "bad". We must first look at where they stand on foundational issues then decide if the preferential issues are the way we want to worship. Such things as hymns vs. praise choruses. The Bible refers to both (Colossians 3:16). I love both. Not everyone does and that is fine with me as long as they don't attack my Christianity because of it. We have a dear lady who comes to our church occasionally. She cannot bring herself to come every week because we use an overhead projector and she does not like that we sing "off the wall". She loves our service and the people there. She is as sweet as she can be but singing off the wall is just too much for her. Cute!
Others prefer churches where they can kneel to pray. There is nothing wrong with that. How about defining modesty? One church feels that to be modest women must be in dresses a certain number of inches below the knee while another teaches another form of modesty. Is either of these wrong? I think, again, this comes back to preference...unless...either of these viewpoints believe that this stand is what saves them. At that point it becomes a "works" salvation violating the foundational principle of salvation through Christ alone. Get my drift?
Do I dare print this post? Is it terribly controversial? I do not wish to offend, just to get us thinking about how we see others in the family of God. Some of us have more maturity, others of us are new babes in Him. How Satan would love to get in and destroy, meddle and defeat us. He wants to make our differences seem like mountains and separate and keep us fighting amongst ourselves so that we are distracted from being out there telling others about our Saviour. If the unsaved can use us as an excuse for not wanting to step inside a church...
I pray that the Lord would be at work in my heart to keep my desire for Him and His Word first in my life. That somehow my life would be the kind that would make others hungry to know more about my Saviour. That I would be discerning not judgemental. Oh, this is hard for me. I am very opinionated person. But, when I am tempted to judge, I must seek out the truth as to whether this is a matter that offends the foundational truths or simply a matter of interpretation or preference. My goal should be to become more and more like HIM every day...wherever that leads me.
...Just some of the thoughts swirling around in this brain today.
Oh, I hope that if you are reading this you will not judge me too harshly.
Blessings on your day!