Friday, February 10, 2012

Prepared to Give It All Up

When I made a decision to give my life to Jesus Christ, I did not pledge allegiance to any particular church building, pastor, or denomination.  Fellowshiping with other Christians is necessary to stay encouraged, to be taught, to learn from each other's experiences, and just to enjoy the company of like-minded people.  It isn't necessary, however, to be more faithful to church programs than to Jesus Christ.  The call to discipleship is simple: deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus Christ.  Why are there now so many people standing in the way of true discipleship with rules, regulations, titles, positions, auxiliaries, committees, financial requirements, and programs?  I want a relationship with Jesus Christ, not an obligation to a church building.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with belonging to any particular Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church, but that membership should never be more important than being a part of the body of Christ.  When we hurt one another over things that Jesus Christ never even taught, we have lost sight of our true purpose, which is to love God and love each other.  The church has damaged so many people and perpetuated so much foolishness that I can't even defend it in an argument.  Let me be clear: there are loving people in every church, and there are outreach programs, food pantries, homeless shelters, after school services, and ministries galore in many churches.  There are good things happening, but they are often overshadowed by the negative things.  The positive things are happening in private with people who just want to help and don't want any praise or glory, while the negative things are right in front of your face with people intent on being important, having titles and positions, and being above others.

I make the declaration today that I will give up every title, position, and function in the church if my walk with Jesus Christ is hindered by them.  I have decided to follow Jesus, not anyone else.  No one is going to pick any shade trees for me to sit under, or make me feel obligated to do anything that Jesus Christ hasn't called me to do.  I will live a life of worship, covered in prayer and scripture.  I am encouraging myself this day to walk in my calling in Jesus Christ.  Nothing else matters!

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