I’m Cool With That…

Some days I am amazed at myself! No hubris intended. I look at my life and wonder to myself, “Exactly…how did I get here?  Really?”

I guess I’m what you’d call a religious mutt.  I have real old-school Missionary Baptists on one side of my family tree, Episcopal Bishops on the other, my mother took us to a moderate Baptist church around the corner from where we lived until we started going to the Pentecostal church where my paternal grandmother played the organ.  I work for a pregnancy crisis center where I have attended worship services for many denominational, non-denominational and interdenominational churches and was comfortable engaging at most of them.  Yet, I find it quite interesting how many of these people have the hardest time dealing with those who worship differently than they do. Each group has some of the same basic tenants, but get caught up with little ‘isms’ that they fear would prevent our entrance into heaven.  The same separation that has been created in the Body of Christ with all of that religion was once quite prevalent in me. Top that with all of the behaviors (or misbehaviors) that I picked up from the many fruits and nuts in my family tree and you can see why I have often felt like a spiritual schizophrenic.

At this point in my life, I am not a religious person.  I have a real relationship with an almighty, all powerful, all knowing God.  I call Him my Father and He calls me His child.  We relate very well.  He calls me friend and shares with me the secrets of His heart and I share with Him the secrets of mine.  He calls me the heir to His Kingdom and all of His fortune.  As such, He shares with me ins and outs of his business and I seek His wisdom and share my ideas about what I can do to expand His Kingdom and strengthen His dynasty. It is in that capacity that He has shared with me the insights that allow me to be what I’d like to call Kingdom Inclusive.

I have judged and been judged people only to discover that God can use ALL of us to do work in His Kingdom despite whatever hang-ups we carry about another person’s relationship with Him. We must be able to keep a pure heart. Titus 1:15 says, “To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.” Heaven is not mine to secure your seat. Neither is Hell for that matter.

The innocent notion that God wants everyone to be in relationship with Him and will take us all as we are gets so lost in our TRYING to be clean instead of allowing God to clean us.  I’m not trying to be as holy as the next dude. I’m trying to please my FATHER! Everything else is a moot point.

Romans 14:1-7 makes a few very pertinent points to that end.  We don’t have permission to condemn those whose faith allows them to do things that would cause us to stumble.  Nor are we to judge ourselves or others for what we cannot do. Whether it’s eating meat or drinking wine or a style of dress or a topic of conversation: if it is not for you, it is not for YOU.  Holding everyone accountable to the things which glorify God in you is NOT YOUR JOB.  Since we profess the same indwelling Holy Spirit and we cannot see what He does in another man’s heart, we can only trust the same Holy Spirit to keep them the way we desire to be kept.  The ending of that passage in Romans says it all. “ We don’t live for ourselves alone. And we don’t die all by ourselves.  If we live, we live to honor the Lord. If we die, we die to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”

I have learned to be cool with the next cat who reads the same Bible I do and is just living his life unto Christ…whatever that looks like.  If we need to agree to disagree, that’s cool too.

In the telling of Paul’s journey to stand trial before Ceasar, it was written that, some came in on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land (Acts 27:44). The point is, they all made it home alive.

We’re all just trying to get home to see Jesus…and since He’s the only way home, does it really matter how we ride?


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