I’ve been trained to believe that being part of a non-denominational church is best. That said, my church believes a lot of what the Nazarenes believe. One example happens to state that alcohol is bad. Even if we don’t say it aloud, we ask those in leadership to abstain and, if a leader shouldn’t do it, why should anyone else? We don’t limit ourselves to the King James version as many of the Baptist churches around town do– Thee, though, and adding “eth” to everything makes it all sound more poetic, but doesn’t communicateth well. We love the Holy Spirit, but you won’t see anybody at my church rolling around on the ground making us act in strange ways like some of the Pentecostal church people do.
We aren’t better than them, our beliefs just happen to be more Biblically-based and accurate.
By the way, liturgy is annoying and it’s clear when somebody doesn’t have it down right.
Aside from Jehovas Whitnesses and some other groups, we basically all agree that Jesus Christ is the son of God and with the exception of Christian Scientists and friends, we rely on Him for salvation. Adding doctrine of the Holy Spirit causes some division here and there. Next, we get to Biblical authority, doctrine of the church, tithing… and the list goes on longer than my or your attention span probably can handle.
I’m fine with there being denominations. We perceive divisions in the Body of Christ because there are. I don’t want to go to church with people who believe differently than I do, it just won’t work. I’d like to imagine that I’d stand up in the middle of a sermon and tell whomever that their truth isn’t exactly true… but then I’d just be a big fat jerk, wouldn’t I?
As Christians, we try to paint our world only using black and white. We quote verses at each other, trying to justify our stances on almost everything and punctuate our sentences with “… and thus sayeth the Lord.”
I’ve watched my friends struggle with questions about their church attendance, their love for beer, and even with roommates of the opposite sex. They didn’t know what was acceptable. I didn’t know either. I’ve had my own questions and at times have felt as though I was focusing my whole life around some lilliputian detail that probably has little significance.
But according to some, it had the potential to ruin my witness, make somebody else stumble, or send me to hell.
I realized this week that I’m alright not knowing everything. My world isn’t a cut-and-dried separation of truth and lies. Sometimes it feels like a knot and I can’t find the beginning or the end to begin to unravel it. Other times, it’s a jumble of pieces that desperately want to fit together but sometimes don’t know how. I believe it’s fine to struggle over decisions, because that at least indicates that it matters to me and I’m not being rash.
I believe truth is singular, but there may be varying expressions of it.
We have to separate all of those out from the lies or un-truths.
But we may find different expressions of our truth.
We have to see what works best for us.