I literally was just on Facebook, talking to a guy, who made the statement, “You may have noticed, I’m a little different.”  I responded that I had noticed, and that was one of the reasons he fit in around here.


That got me thinking – we (Christians) are a “little” different.  Not just because we presume to believe that the Bible is true and that Jesus came to save us and forgive us of our sins.  These are things that the rest of the world cannot understand.  We are different in many other ways as well.


We have different backgrounds, different experiences, and in some ways, different beliefs.  We agree on what is known as the essentials of Christianity (otherwise, why call yourself a Christian?) but there are so many other debatable issues within the church.  Things like musical styles, which translation of the Bible we use, how we baptize, how often we celebrate communion, etc.  These debatable issues don’t have to separate us; nor should they.  It shows me the beauty of God’s attitude toward His people.  Denominations shows us that God is not so insecure as to prescribe every little detail of action and thought, but that He acknowledges and welcomes the differences we have.  We should strive to do the same thing. 


Trust me, I speak from experience.  I used to think that if you did not belong to “my” denomination that you were somehow less than.  I was confident that if you would allow Him, God would show you the error of your ways and you would join us.  Fortunately, God showed me a long time ago that this was not really reflective of His heart.  I am now convinced that few things breaks God’s heart more than to see His Church fractured the way it is.  I will freely admit that most of the problem rests with us “preacher-people.”  We not only suffer from insecurity (fear of losing people), but tend to be over prideful in our abilities to lead (as if we do it out of our own strength).


My conversation goes further than that, however.  My vision for our church is that we would be willing to accept the misfits of our community.  That it will be okay for people who don’t even believe what we believe to come here.  That no matter how “different” you are – you will be welcomed here.  As long as you are willing to participate with us, you have a place.  Do we hope you will change?  Yes we do – but not to OUR way of thinking.  To God’s way.