the weblog of Alan Knox

The people that God brings into my life

Posted by on Feb 18, 2010 in blog links, fellowship, gathering, unity | 6 comments

God has surrounded me with some great brothers and sisters! I thought I would introduce you to two of them through something they’ve written recently on their blogs.

Jason at “Fight the Good Fight” wrote about “The Importance of Meeting Together.” First, he tells about a man he knows named Manesh who lives in a section of India that is hostile to Christians. Then, Jason says,

On Sunday we spent our meeting time talking about a trip to Ethiopia that two of our members will be taking this summer. Our discussion led to the topic of community and the privilege of meeting together. Ryan commented on Bonhoeffer’s discussion of community and meeting together and how just the very fact that we are able to meet together as a body of believers is a privilege and a blessing. And it is only by the Holy Spirit that we are able to commune together as the body of Christ. Manesh, I think, fully understands the importance of meeting together, in his case, for the sake of the Gospel, and in many ways the same is true for us. Manesh earnestly prays for the meeting to be something that influences the people around him. Are we praying for, and conducting our meetings in such a way that honors Christ, shows desire for those around us to know Christ, and cherishes the privilege of meeting together?

Very important things to think about indeed!

Also, Jonathan (who hasn’t named his blog?) wrote a post called “Information vs People.” He writes in part:

Modernists place a higher priority on information than on people.  As the church has good reasons to reject post-modern sensibilities, it is also highly modern.  I think the best illustration of this is the advent of denominationalism.  New denominations form by a group of people leaving a denomination because that denomination has its facts about God and the Bible wrong.  In essence, they forsake all of the relationships they had built in order to maintain their loyalty to the correct information.  This point was made clear to me in my Baptist History class.  400 years of petty bickering and parting ways over who was more “right”.

hmmm…. loyalty to correct information. That’s a good way to put it.

I really appreciate both Jason and Jonathan and the many other people that God uses in my life every day!


6 Comments

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  1. 2-18-2010

    I wonder… is all denominationalism wrong? If we use theological shorthand to identify ourselves in our strongest convictions of soteriology, theology, etc, then what is wrong with using a denominational shorthand to identify ourselves and who we are “of one mind with”?

    I know, I know, we often split hairs to the microbe, and there are more often than not some silly reasons to split denominations. The scriptures are pretty clear that we are not to be divisive over debatables. And there is a lot of petty behavior over one denomination or theology being better than another (if we were honest, we would find gaps or problems with all of them).

    BUT there are those issues that are closer to the essential doctrines that we are supposed to defend with our very lives (“defend that which was entrusted to you”), and there are convictions that may cause me to leave one church for another. Convoluting the gospel in some way is an understandable reason to split from a body, but what about convictions over lifestyle, where there is a judgement call to be made about such things as modesty or qualifications of eldership? Should those be debatable? Are they reasons to divide?

  2. 2-18-2010

    I thank the internet and it’s ability to connect people for the great fellowship I find, on blogs, on Facebook where I have so many good Christian friends.

    It’s an amazing thing.

  3. 2-18-2010

    Jeremiah,

    As far as I can tell, there are only two options: 1) I treat someone as a brother or sister, or 2) I treat someone as if they are not a brother or sister. Unfortunately, denominationalism tends to teach a “middle ground” where we accept that someone is a child of God, but we don’t have to treat that person (or group) as a brother or sister.

    Gene,

    Yes, I’ve met some awesome people online. I wish I lived closer to all of them.

    -Alan

  4. 2-19-2010

    Wow that is a facebook status update Alan. Truthfully if we find ourselves in the second category or in the middle we may not be as obedient as we think we are

  5. 2-22-2010

    Or 3) Be a part of another body as a result of different convictions, but treat all believers that are unified on the essentials as brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of what denomination they are a part of, and always be willing to fellowship with them.

  6. 2-22-2010

    Lionel,

    I decided to copy it as a post instead of a facebook status. :)

    Jeremiah,

    The question here is not with whom you meet. Granted that we cannot meet regularly with all the believers that we know. That’s why I didn’t use the language of meeting in my two options. The question is, do we love our brothers and sisters (real, demonstrable love) even if they may have different beliefs than us. When I say “different beliefs”, I’m not talking about beliefs that would cause us to questions whether or not they are children of God.

    -Alan