Who You Worship?
It got me thinking even further on this issue and how so many times we base our christianity on this type of mentality and even take it a step further. Many times we get caught up following a certain preacher or denomination or church group to the point where we base our faith and judgement of other christians on whether they are like-minded like us. When the Bible tells us to be "like-minded", this is not the type of like-minded it's talking about.
What I'm getting at is we tend to start worshipping our pastor or a certain preacher or teacher or authoer we like, or we take to other extreme: We look down or judge someone because they go to a certain church, or listen or read a certain preacher or author or speaker we don't agree with.
We don't have to agree with every preacher, author, singers, speakers, theology or doctrine to learn something from them, but at the same time, we need to use discernment and wisdom in hearing what they say. At the same time, we must become so in awe of them, we tend to put them in higher regard in our life than God.
I've been to churches and know people who go to certian churchers where all that comes out of their mouth is pastor this and pastor that, pastor said this, pastor did that, blah blah blah and speaking as a pastor/preacher I do not want to be put on that type of pedestal and if people are talking about me (good or bad haha) more than they are about God then I've failed or got too big an ego. We worship God not a man and certainly not a church group/denomination.
Also, I've noticed that sometimes we judge people based on what they read or who they listen to. I was recently criticized because I quoted Joyce Meyers on fb(by more than one person even), do I agree with everything Joyce Meyers says? No! Do I agee with all of Joyce Meyers theology or doctrine? No! However, that doesn't mean she doesn't have some good quotes, say some good things in books, or on the radio. We need to stop being so legalistic and narrow-minded to think that we have so arrived that only speakers/authors/preachers from our church group/denomination are the only ones who are annointed/called/gifted etc....Some people will not even listen or read or hear what someone has to say if they do not line up with them theologically/doctrinally/ or even opinions. People that is why God gives us discernment, I don't care who a person is we can learn from others even those we oppose or disagree with, if you can't distguish that then in my opinion you aren't mature enough in your faith or too narrow in your mind.
There are many out like Joyce Meyer, Joel Olsteen, Rick Warren, Max Lucado, Charles Stanley, Chuck Swindoll, John Hagee, Fred Craddock, to name a few that I may not agree with on every issue, topic, stance, including doctrine, theology, social issues, or scripture, but not everyone is a heretic, false teacher, or of the devil who doesn't line up or agree with me, and honestly none of these mentioned has ever asked my opinion? What's up with that?
Ok, seriously though my thought today is simple. I worship God. The God! The great I AM. I can only saved today because of Jesus Christ and I have the gift of the Holy Spirit in my life. I am a sinner saved by grace. It is my own personal responsibility to grow and mature my faith, to guard my heart, learn and grow in God's Word and Will. But, no matter where I go to church, what I preach or teach about God, or who's books I read, or speakers I listen to, or preachers I hear, it is my job to use Godly wisdom and discernment, and not dismiss what someone has to offer or say because they don't go to "my" church" or believe "like me" or whatever excuses we use to dismiss them or judge others who listen, hear, or read them. I know there are false teachers out there, but if you're mature in your faith, you should be able to discern that with God's help.
Don't miss out on opportunities to learn, grow, and be challenged by others, and sometimes being able to listen to someone we don't agree or moves us out of our comfort zone is what makes us grow and mature. Worship God, not your pastor or your church! But at the same time worship God and be willing to use discernment when hearing others and do not judge or criticize those who think or see differently than you.
I Corinthians 3:1-9
Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men? 5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.