What is the church to me? I was asked this question recently in school and while I believe there are many answers for this question here are a few thoughts that I came up with:
If the church truly is the Bride of Christ, shouldn’t we be the assembly of those preparing for the return of Christ? A bride spends all of her engagement in preparation for being forever one with her groom and we as well should be the ones who are getting ready for eternity. Our roles might look a little different even as we are all the bride, one might have the role played most by a pastor in preaching and educating the congregation on how to prepare, and others might just be in a role of being in the congregation and gathering more people to be included in the preparation. Either way we do all have a role to play and we have a mission to those who still don’t know about Christ to tell them our good news.
In another class this week we discussed the differences IN the church, and specifically Denominations. If I’m being totally honest they don’t make every bit of sense to me either but I think that I’m starting to get a hang of why there might be a zillion on the planet (there is really only about 33,000 denominations according to this random website I found on the Googles). A student in the class piped up and went on about the fact that ‘denomination’ comes from the root word ‘denominator’ or something like that, which clearly wasn’t a thought I agreed with because I hate math. But also, ‘denominations’ aren’t from the root ‘denominator’, but rather comes from the Latin word denominatio(n-), or from the verb denominare (denominate). Here I found our position as a denomination to be an action, it is to give name to or to be assigned a specific financial unit. To be “denominated” would mean that you are assigned a specific unit. Which would be assumed that being apart of a denomination means you’re really just one specific assignment the same as everyone else. You are apart to be spent for the Kingdom. You are to be used to grow the kingdom by giving yourself.
Things I’ve never understood about arguing which denomination is the “right” denomination:
- How do you know that you are right?
- What if you are wrong?
- Why do you have to be mean about saying you’re right?
- Don’t be mean
- No one will want to be your friend
- Have you ever thought that maybe the different denominations aren’t actually anything that separates people but actually includes more people?
- Wouldn’t giving the people an option of faith with convictions they can follow bring them closer into a relationship with Christ?
- Isn’t it all about your heart and Christ?
- If you think I’m wrong, help a sista out.
- I don’t have all these answers but rather I really have a lot of questions and thoughts.
- I’m also a little bit of a hippie and think if people just love Jesus and love one another it doesn’t matter too much if you’re non-denominational, Baptist, Pentecostal, Methodist or Catholic, or a cowboy.