I have started and stopped this several times, but as we head into the 40 Days of Community at Grace Church, I am committing to writing something each Monday morning.
Yesterday was one of those mornings. One of those morning where the calling of Grace Church was affirmed. I am finding out that because we don’t have a denominational identifier in our name (Grace Reformed Church), people assume a lot. They assume we are non-denominational, they assume we are pentecostal, they assume they can direct the theology to best suit their need. Granted, we live in a community where people have no clue what “reformed” means anyway. But, yesterday was once such day when a visitor decided to try to direct the theology of Grace Church.
I know a lot of you pastors have had these conversations from very well meaning people. These visitors were nice and cordial (with several backhanded comments when they had no answer to any of my questions). And Grace Church was not what they were looking for and during the conversation God affirmed our calling to me as a community of faith, and that Grace Church is not for everyone. The rub is, nobody likes to hear they are wrong about Christ, the Holy Spirit does not reside in your church, and all you are is a “nice man” and nothing else – talk about back handed comments.
I can get into details, but I will spare you. The bottom line is really what I am seeing more and more of in Christianity. Pick what I like about God here, I like this belief about communion over here, throw out a solid belief about sanctification and holy living, add into the only way of salvation is through manifestation gifts, and poof – my form of Christianity. What we need to do as followers of Christ is to understand the whole council of God’s Word – not the ones we like the most. This is the hard work of working out our salvation that lasts a lifetime.
So, my conclusion of having a conversation like this is that we are on the right track as a church. That we are a bunch of sinners and imperfect people striving after a holy, just, perfect God. So as I close I pray for people to take one step closer to Jesus Christ and allow Him to straighten ALL our misguided beliefs…