I really enjoy reading blogs.
Lots of times I notice that many blogs by Christians criticize the organized church in America. One of the common criticisms is that there are so many different denominations and groups.
But is that necessarily wrong?
I personally do not think so.
I think that among those of us who have accepted Jesus' death on the cross in our place, given our lives over to His care and to follow after Him, and to whom He's given His Holy Spirit - sometimes we will not be in total agreement over issues that are not the main Christian doctrines. It seems reasonable that we would be most comfortable worshiping with others who have a like mind regarding "side issues" such as how we set up our church services. I think the main thing is that we need to always remember that the side issues are not the main issues. The main issue is that God sent Jesus to die in our place and that every human needs Him. We are to be sharing this truth and loving and helping those around us because God wants to love and help people through us. Just because I may worship on a Sunday at a specific denominational church, I may still be working alongside another Christ follower who worships on Sundays at a different denominational church, to reach out to the poor or needy in my community, or to tutor kids at the local local school, or in whatever other endeavor I feel God leading me.
I don't think the issue is if we have several different churches, each of whom see side issues differently. I think the issue is if each of these churches is respectful of the others, if we are all aware of the fact that together we comprise the body of our Lord Jesus Christ on this earth.
However, having said that, I do recognize that not every group that calls itself "Christian" really is. The reason some particular religious groups are considered cults, even if they call themselves Christians, is simply because they differ from the the main Christian doctrines that comprise historic Christianity. They are not considered "cults" because they are thought to be bad people individually, but because they do not hold to beliefs that are essentially Christian. The link I have here for main Christian doctrines lists only the most very basic tenants of the Christian faith; any group that does not hold to these is not in it's essence Christian. I'm uncomfortable when Christians are trying to be so all encompassing that they fail to make this differentiation because without salvation through Jesus, we are lost. I don't want to be so caught up in being nice and inclusive that I let someone go to hell. On the other hand, I have a few friends who are involved in cults and I do not go around trying to shove the gospel down their throats. I love these friends and count myself blessed to be their friend and have them in my life; I seek to be the best friend possible to them, pray for them, and seek when and how and if God wants me to speak out anything to them.
What about you, do you think differences are always wrong? When do you think you need to "draw the line" and how do you do that?
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