And you thought this was a poem, me too, was I ever surprised. This time however I just want to borrow a few minutes of your time.
I have a couple of things to ask you. If you and I were sitting across the table from one another and I asked you or for that matter you asked me, the following questions how would we answer.
Here’s the questions!
Do you believe you have a complete understanding of the Bible and 100% of it’s teachings?
Do you believe the denomination you identify with has a complete accurate understanding of all the Bible?
I know these are very hard questions, now before you answer allow me to tell you why I asked.
I see this on a almost daily basis, I see denominational elitism, the thought that if you’re not of my denomination, you’re obviously wrong; I see people tell brothers and sisters, why they think they’re right, and then question the other persons salvation, just because they don’t agree with them.
This runs the gambit on topics from what Bible translation you should read to every knit picky little doctrine, and most of the time it’s the doctrine not of the Bible but of the denomination.
Now, back to my questions, since we’re not sitting face to face let me give you my answers, and why.
The answer to the first question is no, no I can’t honestly tell you I understand 100% of the Bible, I long too, but I’m not there.
The answer to the second question is also no, and I personally believe not one denomination worldwide could honestly answer, yes!
If Spurgeon, Moody, Torrey, Tozier, Prince, Sumeral, Wesley and all the rest were still growing in God and His Word, right up to their death, how could we ever answer yes!
Why do I even asked such a thing?
Because family is supposed to treat family, like family, with respect and love even when they differ on opinion or doctrine.
Not like the enemy, not like your adversary.
Love is the trademark of Jesus, not arrogance!
But John, I know I am right in my doctrines, and all our church doctrines are right!
Well, let me share a little story with you then, we all know the story of Jonah and the whale (great fish). The account of Jonah is dated between 620-700 BC or about 700 years after the Law was given, now y’all remember how strict the Law was, you remember the temple sacrifices, ceremonial cleansing, the keeping of the Sabbath, and all the things that made the Law what it was from God, for the Jewish people. These were the requirements to know God, and you recall Jonah was a prophet among his people, a very important man and a well trained theologian of The Law.
Now one would think God would tell Jonah to tell the people of Nineveh, follow the Law and I will spare Nineveh. Jonah, you instruct these people in the Law to get them started, build a temple, institute the sacrifices, just like the Jew’s do it. So they can be saved like you!
After all, it was the time of the Law, but we know right in the middle of the Law, God extended grace to a Gentile city. Below is chapter 3 if you would like to read it later.
Jonah Goes to Nineveh
1Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying,2“Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” 3So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city,a three days’ journey in breadth.b 4Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 5And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.
The People of Nineveh Repent
6The word reachedc the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, 8but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. 9Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”
10When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.
Every rule of the Law the Jew’s had followed were not required of Nineveh, they repented and turned from their wicked ways, and God spared them. Jonah didn’t even tell them to repent, that was their idea. The most telling words in the chapter to me are these, “and the people of Nineveh believed God”!
Nineveh is literally the curve ball of the Old Testament, two completely different sets of people believing the same God, both finding favor with Him.
So what’s your point John?
Just because the Baptist, Pentecostals, Methodist, Presbyterians, Charismatics, Independents, and all other mainline Christianity doesn’t believe exactly like us, doesn’t disqualify them from God. We differ on doctrines, not Saviour!
The only point I wish to convey is we need unity in the Body of Christ, unity only comes through love, and if we are what we say we are, that is our nature, we can disagree, just do it in love one to another. I’m not telling you to embrace sin, I’m just saying embrace your family, because when you do your body harm, you’re the only one it hurts, but when you hurt the Body of Christ that’s not the case. Love doesn’t show weakness brothers and sisters, it show’s Jesus.
Till next time, I love you all,