Earp Takes Aim | Faith, Culture, Life

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We're just Christians!

Do the demographics on our Church and you’ll find dozens of backgrounds.Many come from a Catholic heritage or Methodism.  Others have roots in Pentecostalism or Assembly of God— and many of you were raised in Baptist churches.

Yet…when we come here in the name of Jesus…?  WE ARE ONE!  The beauty of this ministry is that when we come, we’re not Baptist, Methodist, Catholic or even Christian Church.  We’re just Christians!  We’re not protestant…just Christians.  We’re not fundamentalists…we’re Christians.  And we’re not the only Christians.  We’re just Christians!

Does that mean that The Crossroads has successfully resolved all the nasty issues that prompted all these divisions in the first place?  Are you kidding me?  Do you really think anyone around here is smart enough to close the book on questions that have plagued the Church for over 2000 years?  Absolutely not!

So there’s a diversity here.  Just understand:  It’s an INTENTIONAL DIVERSITY.   A diversity in pursuit of UNITY and based on these three realizations: 

#1:  That most believers really do agree on the fundamental issues.

I’m talking about truths like:  The authority of the Bible, the deity of Christ, His bodily resurrection, and our complete redemption from sin accomplished by Jesus fully through His death on the cross…

Most who call themselves Christian…don’t argue with any of that. 

But the second key realization is that:

#2:  My current understanding of the Christian faith is imperfect. 

That’s saying a lot from a guy who was born and raised in isolation.  When I was a kid, I was in a movement of churches that began as a unity movement, but as the baton of leadership was passed through the generations— our unity movement became very sectarian.  To the point that our most visible spokesmen seemed to suggest that our tiny little group had “a new revelation” for the church.  And if someone came to believe what we had come to believe, we’d actually say of them that they had “come into the truth.”

And that kinda pride led us to become so divisive that we were taught to believe that there wasn’t a criminal on earth more wicked, more vile and more heinous than the Presbyterian pastor down the street.  WAY more insidious than even Representative Weiner— was a Presbyterian Pastor? 

But I’ve repented of that garbage.  Cuz I’ve come to understand that God is bigger than any single interpretation of doctrine.  Including mine.  That He’s grander than any one movement of churches.  Even mine.  And that He reserves the right to use people who disagree with me.  Although that one still boggles my mind.

Basically this realization is more accurately called, DOCTRINAL HUMILITY.  It’s not Christianity without conviction.  It’s not, “Let’s willy-nilly cast aside any issues over which we might disagree.”  It’s simply this:  I now realize that I don’t have a perfect understanding of the Christian faith. 

Even though I deeply love the Word of God.  And even though I try to teach it as accurately as possible…?  I realize that some of my conclusions— are just plain wrong. 

See, I’ve been doing ministry long enough now that I used to preach stuff I no longer believe!  And ten years from now, I’ll probably look back on stuff I’m currently preaching— and I’ll find some way to recant some of it, too! 

The problem with unity is:  I’m extremely CLEAR on the truth you are blinded to…WHAT I CAN’T SEE NEARLY AS WELL IS WHAT I’M BLINDED TO. 

So…if you’re arguing with a brother or sister about some issue over which godly and sincere Bible students have disagreed for centuries?  And you don’t approach that disagreement with at least a shred of doubt— that you may, in fact, be the one who doesn’t have it right?  Cuz your finite mind isn’t capable of fully capturing the fullness of God’s mind? 

Listen:  You’re slogging around in the deep weeds of doctrinal arrogance.  Don’t you understand?   Unity doesn’t demand a sacrifice of the truth, it only demands a surrender of your pride. 

Now the third realization is also important: 

#3:  We need to remember who The REAL Enemy is and fight Him instead.

Dr. Leslie Flynn writes about the time when the English and the French were at war in colonial Canada.

“Admiral Phipps, in charge of the British Fleet, was ordered to anchor outside Quebec, a city on the St. Lawrence River.  He was to await the coming of the British infantry and then join the land forces in attack.

“Arriving early, Admiral Phipps, an ardent [Protestant], was annoyed by the statues of the saints that adorned the roof and towers of the Catholic cathedral.  So he [started] shooting at the statues with his ships’ guns. How many he hit we don’t know, but history tells us that when the infantry finally arrived and the signal was given for attack, the Admiral found himself out of ammunition.  He had used it [all up]…shooting at the saints.”

Wow.  Us too, I’m afraid.  Even though the same Father Who accepts and saves them— despite their inaccuracies— is the same Father Who accepts and saves me. 

Wait a minute, Wyatt:  Are you saying that God works through people who have an imperfect understanding of Him? 

Yeah.  After all, what other choice does He have?

This is am exerpt from Captive.... but not to Christ. For more, please log onto to thecrossroadsaz.com

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