Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. (1 Corinthians 3:16-19a NLT)
Today when I was reading a post from one of my Christian Homeschool groups on Facebook (Oy that’s a mouthful) I was amazed at the varying degrees of beliefs - but in a group of 7k+ people, that shouldn’t be a surprise. There are so many denominations, each with their own guidelines and rules, then add in the mix of people at different levels of their walk in Christ - that some views are going to be weak (maybe even worldly) and stronger (maybe even more Biblical) than others. But I suppose the one thing that surprised me the most - is how we perceive ourselves when we are accused of not being Christian enough.
Of course right off the bat, you have to know that no one can judge another, as Christians we are to live a life worthy of the gift we have been given (Salvation). Jesus told us to not to worry about the speck in our neighbors eye when we have a log in our own (Matthew 7:3-5). So it’s hard to know where to draw the line when we want to share how we interpret scripture - after all, isn’t that how different denominations came about?
If a believer that attends a different church denomination shares that they believe ‘x’ as a sin and someone from another denomination shares that they don’t believe ‘x’ as a sin because of this scripture - who are we to say that either are wrong or right? According to denominations - they are in line with their church and we are in line with ours (beware any laws made by man, that isn’t from God’s Word - it can lead to a Pharisee mentality, Matthew 23). That being said, if someone is believing what we consider false doctrine, all we can do is say why we believe this or that. We can’t change one person’s church denomination, it's the Holy Spirit's job to convict each believer of sin (the enemy is the one who condemns), but we can plant a seed. How do we plant a seed, we speak with love and grace, but we stand by our own beliefs and may I suggest a lot of prayer.
We can’t look at our fellow brother or sister and say they aren’t a ‘Christian’ because of ‘x, y, or even z’ - God’s the only one who can see their heart. At the moment when we become new creations in Christ, the old is gone and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:16-20) - to win hearts for Jesus, that's our first responsibility as the Body of Christ.
Once a person has been reborn (of the Spirit, John 3) as a baby Christian, they need to be fed and often with Spiritual milk - they aren’t ready for meat and potatoes yet. As with all infants, we are gentle with them, we don’t want to hurt them - that means don’t force feed them something they aren’t ready for. While reading 1 Corinthians 3 the part about Paul & Apollos planting and watering seeds - it made me think of my own beginning. I saw the first church I attended where I received my salvation as the seed that was planted, it wasn’t watered at that church - but 15 years later at my new church, it was watered & nurtured where God caused the seed to grow. God knows our life from the end to the beginning, don’t think He doesn’t have a plan for our growth - He knows when and where we need pruning, watering, and nurturing.
Labels: different beliefs, different denominations, different spiritual walks, growing in Christ, not judging