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Counter Culture: Denominational Differences

May 14, 2010

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. John 15:19

What does it mean? “In the world but not of it” is what we usually say, but what does it mean? What “world” are we living outside of and what values are we supposed to avoid conforming with? I want to be counter to a culture that says we are supposed to make denominational distinctions.

Surely you know what I mean? Ever had anyone say that sounds “pentecostal?” You were probably discussing the activity of the Holy Spirit today. Ever had someone say that sounds like “the prosperity gospel?” You were probably discussing being blessed by God. I could go on. We don’t even realize how much of the Bible we discount simply because we are worried about what group it might sound like.

I want to be counter to that culture. I want to avoid that part of our world. The part that keeps me from real biblical truth all because some group may focus on that more than others. When did helping the poor, orphan or widow become a liberal agenda? When did the knowledge that the Holy Spirit still works in powerful ways become something only a select group believes? When did blessed assurance become the property of any sect?

That type of culture has kept me from embracing what I know about the Holy Spirit. It has made me uncomfortable with blessing and kept me from believing people can be transformed. All of this not because the Bible doesn’t teach it, no all because a culture has developed that says we are to focus on our differences and figure out how to exclude and divide. I want to be counter to that culture, how about you?

What would you add to the denominational difference list? What would you add that could help?

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:20-23

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

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