Sunday, January 17, 2016

I could be wrong

I speak in tongues, I'm protestant, I'm un-calvinist, I like when people prophesy, I'm not a big fan of organs.

I've always considered my thoughts about God (theology) to be perfectly right. The way I see Him is the way He really is, and all those Christians whose ideas about Him are different than mine, they're wrong. But it turns out this is a pretty unloving way to think. And I'm sorry. 

Right before He died for all of us, Jesus said this to His Father; 

" I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me." 
(John 17:21) 

My brother, Francis Chan, a Catholic worship leader named Matt, and God's Spirit, all worked together to help me agree with Jesus; He says unity in His Church is incredibly important. It seems to me that thinking, "I'm right about God and all you other people are wrong," isn't promoting unity. It's de-promoting it. This big global Church, whom Jesus has called His Bride, includes every person who is worshipping Jesus as Lord and Savior. 

“I look at it like the Catholic church is my immediate family, and all my friends from different denominations are extended family...
What’s fantastic about it is we’re all Christians from different denominations and we’re learning to understand each other. It just means that we’re writing about mysteries that we don’t fully understand.” 

-Matt Maher

God wants us all to know Him, that's for sure. I'm guessing you've noticed that you are different than everyone else and that there is a mind-blowing amount of variety from one person to the next. So every Christian gets to have their own unique relationship with the Creator. The way we talk to Him, the language He uses when He talks back to us, the way we interpret the Bible, God's characteristics we choose to focus on; it's all bound to look different from one uniquely designed human being to the next. But to all of us unique Christians with all of our unique relationships with God, He says, "I want you to be one." And He has named us His Bride!

I believe God would ask us to stop bickering about our rightness. He would then ask that we keep seeking Him, finding Him, and learning from each other about what it is we're finding. 

There are over 33,000* Christian denominations. 

Southern Baptists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Calvinists, Catholics; all are worshipping God's only Son. God's only Son who made a "unified Bride" one of His last requests on the earth. I don't want to ignore Jesus' desire for a Bride that is one. I want to honor it. 

But now there are many members, but one body. 
And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the the feet, "I have no need of you." On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary...

(1 Corinthians 12:20-22)

I'm pretty sure we're all in for a lot of big surprises when we get to Heaven. One surprise will be the things we were wrong about. All of us. And that's okay. God likes that we're discovering Him, and as we discover, He wants us to love, support, and learn from each other. 
Are you Southern Baptist? Are you Catholic? Come teach me what you're learning about God. 

I want to know Him and I need your help.

*photo by Jennie Short @ Short Photography