While riding my bike I pray and ponder. Sometimes my husband and I can get into deep theological discussions. Yesterday when we stopped for got a drink we discussed the wonder of our Infinite Creator. I was struck by all the plant-life visible before me, more than a dozen distinct plants. My husband went on to add the myriad of bugs and creatures we couldn’t see living within those plants. My eyes looked to the cars and buildings just beyond the narrow patch of plant-life before us.
What an incredible reality that God would intentionally place within us, His creation, a part of Himself, the ability to create. Yes some animals use tools but none create them. Monkeys use tools of opportunity to break open a seed pod to satisfy their bodies need to eat. Most animals will build a nest to give birth to their young. But they don’t build lasting structures like we do. Things humans create are novel and designed to last.
We not only create homes from resources like wood, we combine substances to create new materials for our creations. Bricks, steal, and plastic are all formed from naturally available substances man has mixed and worked into something new. Animals don’t do that. Humans are touched with the fingerprint of God and entrusted with the incredible ability to create.
There are somethings we create that serve an important purpose for a season and are eventually discarded for an improved version or something entirely new. Horse and buggy for primary transportation has been replaced by the automobile. The airplane is preferred to driving or boating for long distances. But we all have our preferences, Amish don’t own cars but will ride in one. There are several different manufactures of automobiles and people will readily tell you they prefer XYZ brand. Does it matter if you need a ride and your friend shows up in his ABC model? No.
I don’t know anyone who refuses to ride in a different brand of car, or would refuse to accept a car given to them for a gift. I have preferences for my home but if I got one as a wedding gift I would have moved right in and enjoyed it. I think most people would agree with me. So why do we become so divisive about other things?
After our discussion about creation, man, responsibilities, and being good stewards of the earth while not falling into worshiping the creation we continued our ride and my pondering continued on worship. Believers worshiping the Creator. Yet, Sunday morning continues as the most segregated times in America. I’m not talking about race, although that remains an issue within the church it is lessening. The more disturbing division lies in denomination.
I don’t consider myself non-denominational because that has become a denomination defining a specific group or type of church. I am Anti-Denomination. This is new for me and I know God has directed me to this place. Several years ago I heard a Baptist pastor speak on this and called denominations divisions. I have begun to see denominations as man-made brokenness. Can we speak about loving your neighbor, those who hate you, or the person who strikes you, while at the same time declare my church is better than yours because we are XYZ and you are ABC? I know people who will refuse to enter an ABC church, even with family while visiting their home! I used to be one.
Let me clarify, I am not saying one must attend a service for a non-Christian faith. Nor am I saying it is a sin or forbidden to attend one either. If Jesus went to bars and hung out with the prostitutes and crack dealers of His day, if Paul, Peter, and other disciples attended Jewish Synagogues where they did not believe in Jesus, then what are we to do? They all faced criticism for their actions, Jesus was condemned for being with the lowly and Peter was attacked for teaching truth. Yet we can’t even get over a church if it sprinkles or dunks.
Revelation chapters one through three are letters to churches. Churches that existed then but are also representative of churches today. John, the Disciple Jesus loved, was still alive so this was not long after Christ Himself taught. Yet not one church is without fault. Are we so arrogant to believe that two thousand years later one denomination above all others has it perfectly correct? Do you really want to know the Family of God? Go visit a different church or a denomination you left years ago. Ask God to give you eyes to see and ears to hear. If you seek, and call out to Him, God will answer no matter where you are, a jail cell, boardroom, mosque, even an XYZ church.
Has God led you to visit other churches? Have you resisted when invited? I would love to hear your stories and what you have experienced. Comment below and like me on Facebook.