Monday, April 18, 2011
I’m going to attempt a blog that will probably make a lot of people mad before they get halfway through this reading. If you’re easily angered, read the blog just before this one so that you’ll be better prepared to handle it.
Denominations. We have plenty of them in the US. Methodist, Baptist, Episcopal, Pentecostal (AOG, COG and all of the others, including IPHC). There are more, but I just wanted to point out some of the bigger ones. And there are off shoots of the ones listed above.
It seems that they have taken over Christianity. There are no open Christians walking around anymore. Just ask someone. They will tell you. I’m Baptist. I’m Methodist. So on and so on. Or I belong to Rock Springs Baptist, or Bethlehem Methodist church. How about I belong to God? How many times has someone ever told you that?
When you start out in the ministry, you have to go through a committee that reviews you and your beliefs, goals, etc. They kept asking me questions about being a Methodist, and upholding the doctrine and such. The emphasis wasn’t on my daily walk with God. The word Christian was barely mentioned, if it was at all. I don’t really recall it coming up in conversation, but I’ll give them credit for it just in case. (a dozen or so people firing questions constantly, it’s hard to remember it all.)
I told them that I was a Christian. I agreed to work in the Methodist church, and that I would teach the bible in the Methodist ways. But I was a Christian, not a Methodist.
I won’t call his name, but one guy became so inflamed that I almost thought he would come after me. He turned so red and became mad. But I held my ground. I could tell that I had visibly upset the majority of people in the room, but so be it. It didn’t upset me. Anyway, they still gave me the church to pastor. I’m hoping that it was because they reconsidered for the moment, but it didn’t last very long. I was still a target with a large bulls eye on my back. Finally, the target was hit and I was down. That is when I walked away. It was all about numbers. How much tithe was given? How much did I send to the state office? The church grew over 200 percent while I was there. Yet I was derailed because I wouldn’t kiss the right person where no one should kiss anyone. What happened to church? To preaching the word? To having people saved? To having the spirit hit so hard in a Methodist church that members were at the altar speaking in tongues. (if you ever study the Methodist church, you’ll scratch your head over that one).
That is why I am not in a denominational church at the present. I want the focus to be on God in whatever church I serve. Now, if I ever do get to go to a denominational church, whether it is to speak or to take on as pastor, I have no problem with that, as long as they understand, it’s all about God, and not the denomination.
Moreover, it’s about helping the church members and local community at home first, and then reaching out to the rest of the world. When your house is in order, then you are able to do more for others. Just ask any financial advisor.
Am I saying do not have missions? NO. If your church is successful, your members needs are taken care of, then reach out past the normal boundaries. But when you have a successful church that prospers at home, coffers will overflow and spill out to the rest.
Next blog gets tougher, so prepare your hearts, your minds and your spirits for what we need to examine next.