Filed under: What would you do? | Tags: bible, denominationalism, depression, factions, fellowship
Have you ever felt like a square peg in the village of round holes? You would think I would feel at home in a group of Baptisty preachers and pastors, but I really do not. There was a dinner at the mission, and i ended up sitting with the recovery people, I just felt more at home.
Then there is the music. i really don’t enjoy listening to much country music. I like Bebo Norman a lot, but the live stuff quite often tosses me into rebellion. There was a very talented man playing trumpet, guitar and singing to a recorded track, but he had that spikey short hair and one of those mustaches that slipped off the upper lip and landed just below his lower lip. If i didn’t look, I could admit he was very talented. I am that jaded. The whole CCM scene has left me being judgmental to all CCM artists and i am sure that is wrong.
They guys in the program told me they liked when I preached. They said the last fellow gave a rousing dissertation on baptismal regeneration. He stated that all “so-called Christians” that believe in baptismal regeneration are going to Hell. He knew that because he had the Holy Spirit and that if you had the Holy Spirit and attended a church that believed in baptismal regeneration you would immediately quit and join his denomination. So much for Steve “theoldadam” and the lovely Church of Christ people who first befriended me. Personally, I put a lot more faith in my Savior than in my denomination or my doctrine.
A lot of pastor meetings really depress me. I was with a friend who was really struggling with a crisis in his ministry and life. We were going to a pray in. On the way there he was rejoicing that he was going to confess and get support for a huge problem, it was so big that he needed the group to help. We circled up and began to pray in order. After one preacher prayed for God to guide the deacons to give him a raise, one prayed for his flock to accept modern music, and another fervently, tearfully, prayed to God for his board to give him permission to rip up the pews, as we all know that souls are best saved by preaching in the round. When it was my friends turn to pray, he said,”pass”. Two months later he left his wife and his two churches and ran off with the gym teacher. I don’t go to those meetings anymore.
I served on a regional board for about two years, we spent most of the time writing and adjusting the bylaws. When i was an organizer I was taught that to take a group out of a coalition, get them working on their bylaws, it renders them useless. I shared this, to no avail. We finished the bylaws, and within a year the structure of the whole thing changed. Throw those bylaws out, start over. I don’t go there anymore.
I fit in at Dayspring! Thank God he gave me a place to hang out and glorify The Lord! I feel at home there. We aren’t much, but we are real.
Imagine, if you will, our travel through this vale of tears, the path of our walk toward Eternity, using as an analogy the wagon trains from the western expansion of the settlers in America in the mid 1800’s. Each wagon will represent for us a denomination. We have Jeofurry steering the Baptist wagon, TheOldAdam in charge of a Lutheran wagon, Rick Warren in a Purpose Driven wagon, ShawnW holding the reins on the Preacher Woman wagon, Bishop Martino in the RCC wagon, Rev.AndyLittle in the Rainbow Wagon, and Joel Olstein in the Your Best Wagon Now. These are just some of over one hundred wagons headed for The Promised Land. Each wagon is sure that they know the best path, and carry the most pleasing cargo.
While there are some definite differences in opinion and style of the occupants, there are definitely many commonalities.
- a desire to go in the same direction
- a belief there is a right and wrong way to get there,only the right way succeeding
- an eager anticipation of the journeys end
- agreement that there is an Enemy who would stop them if he could
- a belief [in theory] in loving their neighbor
- knowledge that the area off the path is fraught with danger
- reading of a common book, albeit with differing opinions
- the same Wagon Master commands them all
In the history of the United States people have put aside differences of national origin, language and even denominations to band together. Alone, in single transit they would be easy picking for the elements and enemy to pick off. Together they made history, and a new nation. This fact gives me some hope for the future. Are Christians as smart as were the settlers?
Some day, perhaps soon, if we do not band together and circle our wagons, the enemy will find us easy to defeat. Segmented and divided the flaming arrows of the evil one will surround each lone wagon and attack it from all sides. If the circle is unbroken we will have a safe middle ground, and present a united front. Some of my fellow travelers may be wrong, but at least they are wrong about the right things. The enemy will not care about our differences of opinion, they matter not to him. Anybody headed for our declared destination is fair game.
Stop on over at the Dayspring wagon, I make a mean plate of beans, bring some biscuits and we will sing along to the mouth harp. [ I hear that theoldadam’s wagon has a barrel of beer, but as a Baptist I am sure that is just an evil rumor], if we stick together the trip might actually be enjoyable!