Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Galatians 4

(I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. I believe He died and rose from the dead. I believe that He is coming back!)

My Mom was raised in a church that believed women should not cut their hair, wear makeup, wear jewelry, pants and especially not shorts. I am not here to put down her roots. She is no longer a part of that denomination but in less than two weeks I will be attending a Family Reunion where half of the family members that will attend still live their life in the way I have just described, including my own grandparents. They do believe in Jesus and I believe in Jesus so we have some common ground. It doesn't bother me at all and it never has been an issue in my family for me. They love the Lord and that's all that matters to me! My Mother was saved in this type of church. Now she has short hair, highlights, wears makeup, shorts and a whole lot of jewelry! And she is still saved! When she cut her hair, she didn't loose her salvation. All of the beliefs that came with that denomination was a practice but it wasn't what saved her. There are other denominations that don't believe in using musical instruments. Some don't believe you should have a TV or some are even against birth control. Some believe in speaking in tongues, others don't. And what about drinking and dancing? All of these different beliefs will often divide God's children. I believe it will be a huge shocker to us someday when we are in Heaven and realize that all of the so called religious things we did or believed while here on Earth really did us no good! The church we choose to go to often gives us something to hold on to. When we claim a certain denomination to be ours, it makes us feel a part of something. Whether you are Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Assemblies of God or Pentecostal, we like to check off a box stating what we are. There is nothing wrong with that either. But, those churches don't save us and many of us choose a denomination instead of freedom in Christ.

This is not to say that we should eat, drink and be merry without limits. But, instead of splitting hairs over nonsense or debating the word of God so much, we should all concentrate on believing. Christ is coming back, He will return. That is what we should prepare for. This is what we should focus on.

10You are trying to find favor with God by what you do or don't do on certain days or months or seasons or years. 11I fear for you. I am afraid that all my hard work for you was worth nothing. 12Dear brothers and sisters,[d] I plead with you to live as I do in freedom from these things, for I have become like you Gentiles were--free from the law.

(Please no comments that would put down other religions or denominations.)


Seeker4Christ said...

I read, and get the connection you are making. Nothing in particular stood out to me. Sorry. :( maybe tomorrow. chalice

Anonymous said...

I read too.

Kellie said...

Amazing insite. I love your writing. You are a teacher that can relate to your students.

I love that we are constantly reminded that no matter who we are or what we have done we are GOD'S kids. We are Heirs. WooHoo!

Sometimes I have to repeat every word with a delibrateness. So that I can enforce it in my spirit. I find myself saying it louder and louder.


What a way to stop a bad day. Even if I want to wallow in self-pity. If I speak it my spirit changes. I feel clean and refreshed. That is so much better than wallowing.

Praise YOU LORD.

Karen said...

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

(I only wear shorts when I'm in seclusion -- I hate my legs!)

It is so good to not be in bondage and legalism -- it's called "GRACE". God is so good and so faithful.

Good word.

luv u

Anonymous said...

I completely agree. It is funny how many times since I moved that someone has asked me what denomination I am. People do want to know if you are part of their "group". I know they do not mean anything negative by it, but still they are looking for common ground. My pastor told us a story on Easter about a woman that would ask new people that she met "Do you believe in Easter?". The story made complete sense. That IS what gives us common ground. May I also always find common ground with others this way and not by their denomination. Thanks Amanda.

V. said...

Good writing Amanda!

Our church is a part of something that is crossing the denominational lines. It is called Love Winnipeg. 77 churches are getting together to love on our city....26 of those churches just participated in Pulpit Exchange (pastors swapped churches for a Sunday). It was cool to know that Baptists were preaching to Pentecostals who were preaching to Mennonites who were preaching to non-denoms etc.etc.etc

We are practicing God's grace by going out into the community and loving homes one by one 'no-strings-attached'.

You can see the Love Winnipeg site here:



momteacherfriend said...

I read it yesterday and reread again today.

Then this totally caught my attention: 19 My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, (verse 20 is good but it was 19 that got me.)

Seeker- Remember yesterday when we were discussing the sadness you feel when you see someone you have invested your life in, making poor choices? How it pains you. You so want to see Christ formed in her.

I feel like that sometimes...pained for someone...wanting to see Christ formed in their life. Paul felt that way. He went on to say I wish I could be WITH you...why? So they could see his love and concern? So he could be an example? So he could teach them truth? Maybe all of the above.

Lord, help me to love those around me. Give me wisdom and understanding that I may encourage them in the exact way their spirits need to be ministered to. Lord, I long to have those around me realize your love for them. That Christ be fully formed in each of their lives. Let it be so.

Dionna Sanchez said...

Really good thoughts, Amanda! I agree with you. We let far too much separate us. I really don't like to tell people what denomination I go to - I say "I'm a Christian." I think God looks at our heart and whether or not we are following His commands - how we look while we do it in the process is up to us. As long as it doesn't cause a brother or sister to stumble.

mommyofangels said...

Amen... So true...
Romans 14:5-8
5One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Love and Respect... My inlaws are Catholic, and love the Lord as much as I do. I respect their practices although different from my own, because I respect them. Also whatever they do, they do it for the Lord.