Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Gospel - V

Probably the biggest divergence of opinion in churches today is the expectations of what and how people should experience God and his family.

Suffice it to say, the expectations of different Christians are wide and diverse. Rituals, supernatural presence, individual expression, the role of leadership, educational processes, finances and methods of governance are all subject to much discussion and sometimes, animosity.

Perhaps, the main question is: if people have the same allegiance to Jesus, will their experience be the same? If people have the same allegiance to Jesus, there should certainly be common areas. But there are things that suggest there is considerable freedom in the family of God, for all the areas mentioned about, plus many more.

Scripture does not proscribe a God approved way of doing church. There is no where in Scripture that outlines the worship service, church governance or ways of education and assimilation. Yes, there are places that describe what type of people leaders should be. Yes, there are places that say, "when this happens in your meetings, make sure it is done this way." But that is a long way from saying that the meetings:
- have to be held in a particular place.
- can only be this long.
- can have no time limit placed on them.
- can only have music by Fanny Crosby.
- can only have music by Larry Norman.
- can only use a particular Bible translation.
- cannot do this.
- have to do that.

God did create families, languages and cultures. There are similarities in everyone from all over the world. All languages have words that signify objects and actions. I would bet each one has a word that describes the color of the sky with no clouds in it. God created a world with incredible diversity. And God promises to take a people for himself from all peoples. And God is big enough to encompass the different ways all those families express themselves. It is to his glory that Arabs, Chinese, Bushman, Pygmies, Germans and Italians are united in their allegiance to Jesus, and their love for one another, differences notwithstanding.

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