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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Denominations: Not Divisions, But Organs In The Body Of Christ

God is far too complex for us to be able to comprehend a full revelation of who He is. Thus, he has allowed different aspects of Him to be seen by different people. Also, as humans, we are so varied that what helps me get into the throne room of God may not work for the person next to me.

I may enjoy lifting my hands and shouting praises to the rafters, whereas they may be much more focused on God if they are holding a hymnal and singing in a reverent tone. The other gentleman next to me might be the sort of willing vessel to jump and whirl when the Spirit comes upon him, while the woman next to him, because of her past, would not feel safe in anything but a carefully ordered service.

Thus, we have denominations, which are really only single words or phrases that sum up that church's approach to worship, Bible study, and prayer. Some of these are spawned due to rebellion, but some are very much acting upon a true revelation of God.

Very often, even those that originally began in rebellion have been blessed once that sin has been confessed.... Martin Luther rebelled against the "church" of his time because of a revelation of God and the meaning of His word.
Was the rebellion necessary? Only he and God know for certain, but the fact remains that it is because of him that many of us now know how to truly read and understand the Word of God.

As people come to know Christ, depending upon their prior lifestyle, God moves them into flocks that will minister best to their individual needs.

Someone who was an atheist for example, may not be able to get into the "Holy Spirit thing" right away, and thus God places him in a body that focuses more on the Word.
As he grows spiritually and develops, perhaps God will lead him into a new body, an new denomination even. Then again, perhaps not. His calling may keep him in that place, meant to instruct those who follow after him.

Or perhaps a former witch comes to knowledge of the Lord because of the Spirit she can feel around the Witness. She would, perhaps, be led to a Spirit manifesting church... One in which the Spirit that drew her can continue to love on her.
As she matures, perhaps she'll be led to another church or denomination, one that focuses more on the Word and it's study. Perhaps not. It may be her calling to become so filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, that she can simply enter a room and clear it, thus being able to witness to those in it unimpeded.

Either way, simply because someone hops, runs, walks, crawls or shuffles down the Straight and Narrow, the major thing that matters is that they are moving forward along it. If they are not moving, or not moving forward at all, then yes, there is a problem there.
If they have stalled, then there's a chance God is doing some major repair work. If they are falling, get out of the way, and take as many true believers with you as possible.

Some may feel that last part was too heavy handed, but let me be clear. When a church body is pronounced dead and lifeless by God Himself, it is time to leave. Period. Anyone staying will indeed be brought down with the ship- they either are too blinded, or they've got something to lose.

I've found this test to be true- The Word says to test the spirit with Spirit. Thus, ask the Lord to reveal if this particular church body is within His will. Because when it comes down to it, it's really not the entire denomination that's wacky, it's the individual bodies.



This was all brought about by a verse in the Bible, actually, in Acts...
I believe it was Gamaleil who stated that if this thing is not of the Lord, it will fail, but if it IS of the Lord, then we are powerless to stop it.
And there have been denominations who have fizzled into nothingness. And there are churches that have done the same.

So after reading that, I got this vision of the human body, and how all the organs are supplied blood, and they all work together. If one organ stops allowing the blood to leave it, it ceases to function correctly, causing the Body to weaken. This also will eventually cause the blood to stop flowing to it, which will cause a hemorrhage if left untreated.

So too the Body of Christ has many different parts that do many different things, but we all operate within the Body of Christ, and thus, MUST work together.