As I prepare to type this, so many thoughts are entering my mind at once, and I am relying on God's power to overtake my random thoughts and make them make sense to those reading this.
I am one who is respectful of certain boundaries and barriers. If I see a sign that says "Do not enter", I do not enter. The boundary of sin, if I know I am not supposed to do something, I try my hardest to not do it. But I see around me, so many barriers put up by people, organizations...even churches that I simply can not respect. There are boundaries between rich and poor, black and white, liberal and conservative, republican and democrat. Look in our high schools, and you will find so many. We call them cliques. They hang out with the people that dress the same, play the same sports, whose parents make similar incomes, live in the same neighborhoods. We are all created in God's image. That makes everyone the same in his eyes. When will we all start to treat each other the same?
The one that I hate the most is, "What church do you go to?". As if God meant for his people to be separated into different "faiths" as we like to say. Do we not all have the same faith, being our hope in Jesus Christ being our savior? Didn't God create one body of believers? We have put these walls up between certain groups of Christians and what separates us is mostly how we perceive how God is pleased by our worship. Isn't the point of worship to bring glory and honor to our creator and savior? Does God really care if we have musical instruments, or raise our hands while we praise, if we have a Children's Bible Hour or not, if we meet together as a church or have small group studies on Sunday night? Does he care if we dress up in our Sunday's best, or if we wear jeans? I have never read anywhere in the bible that any of those things matter to God. They really only to matter to us. Isn't worship about God, not us? All that he asks is that we offer up our sincere praise and gratitude to him. To sacrifice our lives and live for him, and not ourselves. To feed the hungry, to help the helpless, clothe the naked, seek and save the lost.
I was raised in the Church of Christ, have always gone there. Then my husband decided to try to look for another church. I hesitated for as long as I could. Why? Was I scared? Was I so attached to my church family that I thought that going somewhere else would make me an outcast? Finally, I decided that splitting up the family to go to church on Sunday morning just didn't seem right. So I reluctantly gave in and started going with him to another church. I am still active in my other church, as well as the new one. I go to a bible study comprised of women from churches all over town. One thing that I have learned is that there is so much freedom in breaking down those barriers. I have felt my faith go through the roof. When we have those barriers up, and we limit ourselves, we limit God. We decide for ourselves how God is pleased. I think that God is more pleased with where our heart is when we worship, rather than how we worship. Even Jesus broke the "religious law" because he was more interested in bringing glory to his Father in everything he did.
What is my point? Wouldn't it be so awesome if instead of having different denominations, there really was one body of Christ, the way it was meant to be? If we respected that there is not just one way to worship? I mean, one day, we will all be together in heaven, with no barriers, all worshiping together anyway. Why can't we start here?