Letter from 2012-12-01
I was sitting in my office thinking about all of the different things that happened yesterday and which one particular thing to write about. Yesterday was a good day. I experienced more positive than negative. It was Friday… there’s a couple dollars in the bank. It’s the weekend. So, no work today. We’re planning to hang with some of the family today. I’m in a great mood. Things are good. I’m smiling.
Last night, at the end of our practice, we had a time of sharing and testimony. From time to time, we NEED to kick the agenda, or the business at hand, to the curb and just talk to each other about what’s going on in our individual lives. There were some great victorious testimonies that were shared. One of the things that we discussed was the various religious backgrounds that we all had come from. It was a very light conversation but here is the clause… Please try not to be offended because I just may be talking about your church :-)
I was brought up in an Apostolic, or Pentecostal, church. I belonged to the First Church of Everybody Else is Going to Hell. We believed in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ; one way to the Heaven and that being thru Jesus; we believed in baptism(completely immersed) in Jesus name, not Father, Son, Holy Spirit; and receiving the Holy Ghost with speaking in tongues as proof. If you believed anything other than this then you were going to hell.
One person was brought up Baptist. Once saved always saved. We are born in sin but saved by grace. Once you were saved, you could do whatever you wanted including smoking, cussing, or whatever else you wanted to do. Baptist born, Baptist bread and when I die, I’ll be Baptist dead.
I know people from all types of religious backgrounds but nowadays we ALL attend, or join, the same Non-Denomination, or Inter-Denomination, church. All believers, all together, serving the same God… I think it’s cool. But, how did this melting pot of religion occur? What happened that allowed people from such opposing teachings to come together and fellowship as one?
Well, I truly believe that time brings change. It’s like when you first meet your girlfriend, or wife. They are the most beautiful person God ever created; Heaven just dropped them out of the sky just for you; their every step seemed to be upon fresh rose petals; they could do no wrong; everything was right… Then they passed gas in front of you for the first time. What in the world!?!? Where did that come from? Or they went to the bathroom and didn’t close the door. Or it’s bedtime, why are you putting that stuff on your face? That’s the her-side but what about us, guys? What about that argument about whether, or not, I snore? Or that first night after eating White Castles? That wasn’t me, of course…
What I’m saying is that over time, we get more and more comfortable with each other. And the same has occurred in American religion. We work with, shop with, have fun with these other believers. So, why not worship with them. We’ve become a melting pot of ideas and beliefs. This is a good thing. But, like having that second bowl of Pinto beans for dinner, not everything good continues on that ‘good’ path. Because of all that combining of ideas and beliefs where is our true standards? What exactly DO we believe today? With the advent of the American Mega Church, many times the message has been diluted in order to accommodate all of the people.
I believe that EVERY church has a purpose. The key is, knowing what that purpose is. Some people need the “you’re going to hell is you don’t change” church in order to for them to reevaluate their lives. But, at one time, I belonged to a church where the pastor stated he would refer to sin as ‘misbehaving’ because the word sin was offensive. Guess what? I needed that church because I had been hurt by church. That soft touch ministry is what kept me. There are the prosperity churches where the main message is about gaining wealth. Again, no problem there… If we serve the God of abundance, we’re heirs and joint heirs to the kingdom then why shouldn’t we have some money.
So, my question to you is this…
Time does bring change. Are these changes good, or bad? Why do you think so?
I love you ALL!!!