One of my son’s favorite things to do while at the mall is visit the Lego store. Not to buy anything, just to play with the toys put out for the kids. As I’m walking around the store looking at the new displays on the walls, I get a call. It’s from a woman that I met almost 2 years ago. We went through the usual conversation starter regarding how we were doing & what we were up too. She then did her typical spill of pointing out my lack of communication. She’s right. I am not good at reaching out to people. It doesn’t mean I don’t think about them, but I don’t always take out the time to shoot off a text or a call to catch up or check-in.
I don’t recall how but we stumbled across a conversation about attending church. In the past, she has shared with me that she visits different churches every week. Going as far as to other states to find a “good” pastor. We have over 12,000+ churches in the state Georgia. I can’t blame her for using this excuse, as I’ve stated not going to church because there were no “good” pastors around. Now I realize that with 12,000+ pastors in GA it’s silly to believe there’s not one bible believing, holy spirit filled shepherd nearby.
I asked her if she had found a church home yet? In which she replied “No.” In speaking to this woman, she has shared with me issues she believes the church has. I too remember having issues with the church. Usually, with these conversations, I keep my mouth shut and I don’t say anything. However, this time it was hard for me to do. She went on to mention how she’d rather visit different churches every week and interpret the bible herself then be mislead. I then asked how she still hadn’t come to find the “right” church after visiting so many for the last few years? She replied, “I don’t have to go to church.” Ephesians 4:11-13 says, “…Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.” I asked her if she fellowships with any of the Believers when she visits these churches? I didn’t want to assume she was how I used to be (going to church and leaving immediately after). She said sometimes. The church is Body of Christ. It says in Ephesians 1:22-23, “He put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” Like any relationship you can’t build in unity with people you aren’t in constant fellowship with.
The conversation went on & the more she spoke, the further away from biblical teaching she got. I kept my questions and responses circled around scripture. I knew at this point my personal opinion would only heat things up and the WORD is true, so it’s best to stick with it. She fumbled around a bit with some of the questions I asked her. She then got stuck on a scientific fact about the rotation of our planet. She mentioned how people thought she was crazy because of what the bible says about it. She attempted to talk to Pastors about it, and they would always brushed off. So, she and a bible study group she attends talks about “those” things. They study the bible to talk about the things that interest them. Hebrews 10:25 says, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” As the scriptures says she is assembling herself with others believers. but we also look at Hebrews 10:24 that reads, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” I asked how discussing the rotation of the earth contributed to the commission Jesus gave us as Believers? Matthew 28:18-20 says “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” She said everyone is not meant do it. I explained that a person doesn’t have to be a preacher or teacher to do it. You can share your faith at work, in the grocery store, at a park there’s no limits.
You can always find people in the world who will agree with your perception on life. Not to insult her but if I wanted to talk about the best way to bite my toenails and collect them, I bet I’d find others who’d want to do the same. It’s easy to assume that what you’re doing is right, simply because others agree. This, however, is not true. You cannot always trust your thoughts, your feelings, your own judgment because they are often based on your experiences of the good, the bad and the ugly. Romans 1:21 says “For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and darkened in their foolish hearts.” When it comes to the WORD, you either believe it, or you don’t. There is no in-between. Don’t read the bible to align it with what you think. Read the Bible to align your life with the truth it presents.
In the midst of the conversation, I was told I was difficult to talk too. I didn’t get offended by the jab or when she began to cuss. I knew what we were discussing was a sensitive subject. I also knew that over the course of knowing her I’d never questioned her before regarding her faith. However, I felt led this time. I advised her that some of what she believed did not align with the WORD of God (It would have been best to meet with her so I could show her in scripture). She explained how she approaches people differently when discussing the Lord. She doesn’t shove it down their throat (I assume that’s what she thought I was doing) but will ask questions regarding why a person doesn’t believe in God. She stated she wouldn’t want to scare someone from believing in God. The thing is she is not a new Christian. She’s been on her walk for years, and therefore I don’t need to hold her hand believing she’s still on the bottle. She has strong beliefs about the bible, and they do not align. The bible says in Colossians 3:16 “Let Christ’s word live in you like a rich treasure. Teach and correct each other wisely.” She didn’t take kindly to the correction. She saw it as an attack, but I did it out of love with asking questions and stating the WORD.
As the conversation was coming to an end, the woman mentioned how different preachers teach different things. She doesn’t think a preacher is bad simply because what they believe is contrary to another. She explained how she has an agnostic background and rarely ever found two preachers who believe the same thing. “It doesn’t make them a good or bad person because both can be right,” she stated. As a member of the Body of Christ, I want to apologize for the confusion. The WORD says in Philippians 2:2, “…make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.” What she was saying is somewhat fact. As Christians we have multiple denominations, do feeling-based teaching rather than Bible teaching, have rituals/traditions set in place and aren’t always seeking out the Holy Spirit. Man has all the facts, but God has the ultimate untainted truth.
1 Corinthians 12:4 says the Holy Spirit gave us different spiritual gifts; that operate under the same source. Since ALL pastors should be operating under the Holy Spirit. If one is teaching one thing contrary to another, than one or both are wrong, but it’s impossible for both to be right. Even when Jesus casted out demons and was accused of working under the authority of satan He said, “…any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed (Luke 11:17).” This doesn’t just go for satan but for us, the Holy Spirit, everything. It’s impossible for the Holy Spirit to work against itself.
I’ve been found in error when leaning on my own understanding with the bible. I haven’t always allowed the Holy Spirit to lead me in everything regarding the Almighty God and the things that align with scripture. #DyingDaily to our conformed beliefs is not easy. Allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you in life is not always the most confident experience. However, when it comes to the WORD and our Lord & Savior, He is our way, He is the truth, and the life. If I base all my decisions on how I feel about a situation I’d be back where I started. In turmoil, confused, offended easily and lost. Thank God for His WORD that guides, corrects, revives and grows me.