After being in the organized church for well over 50 years, and seeing all the different denominations, beliefs, interpretations etc., one thing makes me sad. That one major thing is to see so many followers of Christ fight and argue over the different paths we take in our christian walk.
Now that isn’t saying the all roads lead to God, but while trusting in God and following Christ, we are going to take many different paths during our life here on earth. They are going to be different from other followers of Christ, but we are following the same Christ.
Those of us outside the institutional church should not divide and separate ourselves into the ‘in church’ and ‘out of church’ groups. In the same manner, those who are part of the modern day church should not look down on and separate from those outside the institution. We need to accept that we both love God and are following Christ along the path he has for us.
I think this is what working out our salvation means. Not that we have to work to earn our salvation, but we continually learn as we follow Christ in our salvation. We, as Christ followers, will take different paths in our walk with God. We shouldn’t expect everyone to walk the same path.
And I hear those of you who even want to argue over the phrase ‘Christ follower’. I’ve had people correct me for using that phrase. By using it I mean Christ is living within each of us, and we walk with him and let him live through us. We are following along with him and not out doing our own thing.
As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are to love one another, encourage and build up one another. We aren’t to be continually expecting everyone to act like us and walk in the same way we do.
We are to be accepting, loving and kind to all we have contact with each day, and especially to those who are fellow believers. It seems we are more concerned about acting and believing the exact same things, and when we don’t, we want to fight, argue and separate ourselves rather than accept that God works in each of us in different ways. He made each of us differently, and he leads us along different paths as we walk toward a common destination.
Rather than expect everyone to be just like us, let’s start loving one another the way Christ loved people while he walked the earth. Let’s not let different interpretations and ways of walking with God be a stumbling block to a loving fellowship with one another.
Besides, we aren’t going to lead anyone to a relationship with Christ when all they see is arguing and disagreements among brothers. We aren’t going to draw people insisting they conform to our way of thinking and following our rules and interpretations. The only way people will know we have something worth checking out, is when they see brothers and sisters in Christ loving one another, caring for one another and building each other up.