I wrote this several months ago via Facebook, but thought I'd do a little copy/paste action and share it with the blogosphere. Determining what I believe and why I believe it will be an ongoing journey. And that's the way it should be...
"Christianity is NOT a religion; it's a relationship." More honest words were never spoken. We, myself included, get entirely too caught up in the petty differences we have that we overlook what's really important. It's like the churches Paul talks about in Romans. The Jews were so caught up in the Law that they lost sight of what it really meant to be a child of God in the first place, while the Gentiles were too busy getting caught up in themselves for their new-found faith that Paul had to address and potentially slap them both in the face for their actions. One of Paul's biggest points in Romans is that it doesn't matter who you are, where you were born or who your Dad is... we're all one body.
Romans 9 is one of my favorite chapters because of the tone Paul uses. You can almost picture Paul's sacastic face in verses 14 and 15. "What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.'" In other words, "God? Unjust? No way! NOBODY deserves mercy or compassion; not even YOU!" Hah, I love it!
So, what's really important in our faith?
Here are some of the most common arguments I've heard that have, I'm sorry to say, even caused divisions among bodies of Christ as a whole.
Predestination vs. Free Will
KJV vs. NAS (or any other version)
Alcohol vs. No Alcohol
Women in Pants vs. Women in Skirts/Dresses
Drums in Church vs. No Drums
Dancing vs. No Dancing
And those are just a few.
What's the answer to those, you may ask?
Predestination vs. Free Will... Yes.
KJV vs. NAS (or any other version)... Yes.
Alcohol vs. No Alcohol... Yes.
Women in Pants vs. Women in Skirts/Dresses... Yes.
Drums in Church vs. No Drums... Yes.
Dancing vs. No Dancing... Yes.
Which denomination is "right?"... YES.
Here's how I know.
We. Are. All. Different.
I'm a very firm believer in the Holy Spirit and His convictions. I'm also a very firm believer that He convicts everyone DIFFERENTLY. Because... WE'RE ALL DIFFERENT. The key is to listen and obey. After all, we are CHILDREN of God. These are some of those 'Honor your Father' things.
Now, don't misundertand me. I'm not saying that other religions are legit. On the contrary, it goes back to that quote up there... "Christianity is not a religion; it's a relationship." But, your convictions may not line up with mine. And THAT'S OKAY!
So, what's really important? Here it is...
1. Jesus Christ is God's Son.
2. God sent His Son here. Jesus was born of a virgin, lived His life so we would have an example, was crucified, buried, and rose again. All so we could have a great place to fellowship with Him later.
3. Even though we don't understand it - God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one.
4. The Bible is true. All of it.
5. Accepting Christ as your Savior is not a prayer. It's a daily, life-long relationship.
Everything else is petty.
So, listen and obey the Holy Spirit.
Believe what He says.
Wear what He says.
Drink what He says.
Read what He says.
Move how He says.
Play what He says.
Go where He says - regardless of the name on the sign.
Those are my two cents. What are yours?