Our Gathering Culture
Have you ever had a brother or sister in the Lord break relationship with you because you changed churches or disagreed with them on some point of theology? I have. There seems to be some unwritten rule in the American Christian Culture that if you leave our church then we don't have a relationship with you. Or, if you don't go to my church I will not have a relationship with you. Have you ever felt intimidated by your fellow church members to only associate with people who agree with you? Those seem to be the unwritten rules.
There is a written rule. It goes like this "For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen." I John 4:20. Jesus said this "'Love your neighbor as yourself.' " Luke 10:27. How is it that a community that claims to use the Bible for their guide can actually have a culture that is diametrically opposed to Biblical principles?
The answer is that Denominationalism gathers people around theology. Have you ever noticed that Protestants divide themselves up based upon their theological beliefs? But you say, wait a minute, the church I go to says they are not a denomination. A church or body of believers can say what they want but if their culture is one that intimidates you to only love those who agree with them and to cast others away is probably controlled by a denominational spirit.
I can tell you that I have personally been hurt many times when I have run into old friends from a past church who seem afraid to be seen talking to me. I am also saddened when I hear of those who feel they cannot attend a powerful, Spirit filled service, because they come from a culture that revolves around theology and not love. This is a spirit that must be broken so that Christians can live in love and freedom!
Let me challenge you to join with me and stand up against this denominational spirit that has infiltrated the Christian culture. We are on an apostolic mission to change the culture of this region.
An apostolic fellowship gathers around spiritual fathers and personal relationships, not theology. Of course, we love God's word and have a sound theology, but we don't gather around that. We gather around loving relationships.
I suggest that we embrace the scriptural principles of loving our neighbors, as well as our brothers and sisters in Christ regardless of our differences. In fact, why don't we turn our backs on this denominational spirit and embrace the principles of Jesus Christ as outlined in Scripture? Let's gather together, love one another, and enjoy the new wine of the Holy Spirit working in our lives and meetings and enjoy a culture of love and friendship.
"And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother."
1 John 4:21