Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What are you defined by? And who defines you?

I was going to title this post..."I am a heretic and have been for 15 years."
You see the original defintion of heretic was someone who used to be a Roman Catholic and leaves, then no longer believes what that group teaches. Of which I did leave it in 1995 after being in it for 25 years. Later on that same year I wrote to the Ft. Worth diocese and told them to take my name off the list as I no longer consider myself a Roman Catholic.
I took serious what I felt and know the Lord told me. When I knew I had to leave that church.
I loved and still love the people of that group. I have lots of friends and family who still belong to that church group.
At the time I had questions of why! Why did the church do such and such? Why? And no one not even the priest couldn't answer these questions I had. Then the great defining moment came when I was at a parish meeting along with other older parishners trying to find a way to get more people involved. My wife and I were youth group ministers at the time.
The big scratching of the chaulk board moment came when an older gentleman said, "We need to have more devotions to Mary." From that moment on I knew that I had to leave. I knew that something wasn't quite right with that statement.
Needless to say my wife and I gradually moved away from the Catholic church. For about a month or more we were searching what to do next. Then I had the opportunity to meet with my neighbor at the time who happened to be a pastor of a non-denominational charismatic type church group.
We ended up going there and stayed with them for 10 years until we moved.
As we were at our new state and home we became involved in another church of which had reformed baptist ties and were bordering on the gifts and waiting on the Lord for such.
We stayed there for 4 years. And now are meeting in our home. As we feel the Lord called us to.
I learned a lot from each place I have been apart of and am continuing to learn.
So now to why I titled the post what I did.
I could have continued on allowing my Catholic roots to define me, but I left most of that behind.
I could have allowed the charismatic church define me, and also the reformed baptist also.
Meaning people could have defined me by where I was meeting at the time.

Right now people may try to define me as a heretic in another way. Why? Because I am going against the grain of religion that defines most of America. I meet with other believers in a house.
Not a church! No, a house. I also meet with other believers outside at times. Or in McDonald's etc.
You see I don't want a building to define me. I could be following a Martin Luther, Calvin or Armenius.
I could consider myself a backslidden Calvinist! And an Armenian who keeps losing his salvation! I could consider myself modern day heretic because I don't meet in a building with a cross on top of it with at least 50 people meeting every Sunday morning, night and Wednesday nights.

You see how rediculous all of this can be and where it leads?
I am not a heretic! I am not defined by everything Luther, Calvin or Armenius taught.
I can take bits of each and see what they saw in the scripture and say AMEN!
I will not allow someone define me by a mere man! No, I will allow someone define me by what the word of God says and Who that word talks about. Jesus Christ and Him crucified!
I am not Roman Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal, Church of Christ, Church of God in Christ, Luthern, Methodist, Presbyterian, Freewill Baptist, Reformed Baptist, Southern Baptist, Missionary Baptist, Disciples of Christ.
I could continue on, but I hope you get the idea. I am not railing against these groups. I pray for them. I don't walk against them. I pray for them.
I don't want to be defined by a man, a movement or a way that is not recorded in the word of God.
I want to be defined by my walk, my love for the Lord and my love for His people!
Love that is what I want to be defined by. Love the Lord with all your heart......
I want to be defined by the greatest commandment.
You see what I am finding out is all the men who people follow as noted on the fronts of buildings were not perfect.
Calvin had his issues, Armenius had his, and as I recently found out Luther wasn't all that great of a man.
There is danger in continuing to say I am of Apollos ie. Luther, Wesley, Calvin, Armenius, and in todays time Piper, Dever, Swaggert, Copeland etc.
I am not saying don't read what they wrote and are writing. As they did leave and are leaving us some great things from the word of God. What I am saying is let's not let everything these men did and are doing define you.
Paul didn't let any man define what he taught or believed except the man Christ Jesus!

Also don't let a building define you. Whether it is a house or a big structure with lots of seats.
I personally believe that we are in a defining moment in the history of church. Where the Lord is making it known what He wants!
We are in a time where the Lord is showing men what really counts and what is important to Him. And guess what?
It isn't man!
What is important to God is that He gets all the glory through His only begotten Son! JESUS CHRIST!


Anonymous said...

Steven, well said, and amen. I confirm your words. If you have not checked this out, when time allows, read this and listen to the lyrics of the song at the end. Lord bless our quest. John Morris.

Anonymous said...

I like wise hear you Steve and am also tired of all the labeling. I Am a “______ist” if you are a “______ist” and not an “______ist” you are a “heretic”. “If you speak in tongues you are of the devil”; “I am Biblical and you are not” etc. etc. etc. Yes, I do not blame you for retreating to you home for worship. We have seriously thought about doing the same.

“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and [that] there be no divisions among you; but [that] ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (11) For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them [which are of the house] of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. (12) Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. (13) Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? (14) I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; (15) Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.

1 Corinthians 1:16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. (17) For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect” (1 Corinthians 1:10-17).

“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).

Stick to the Scriptures and the fundamentals of the faith and God just may send along others to join with you. The home church movement is a growing thing.
Anonymous in CT.