An Exersize in Futility — Part 3

RobDevotions

FutilityI may have to enter the witness protection program after this series.

Oh well, as they say, truth hurts.

I’ve learned you can critique football, family members, politics, schools and a whole lot of other things, but say anything about denominations and overnight you’re about as popular as Salman Rushdie at an Iranian soccer game!

But let’s think about this for a moment, shall we?

But before we do…MEN OF SOUTHBROOK?! Go read this post right now and respond accordingly. Women, you can keep right on reading, pass go, collect your $200…the whole bit, but men, don’t you dare skip yesterday’s post if you’re serious about being a godly man!

Now, where was I…oh yeah, DEEE – NOM – I – NAAA – TIONS.

Why do I feel like Sponge Bob every time I say that word?

Who knows.

Anyway, I have only a couple important things to say in today’s exercise in futility (remember, this will be at least a 6 part series with posts of varying lengths so don’t feel too short changed on this one).

First this…

It Was a Good Idea At One Point in Time.

The reformation was essentially the first appearance of a denomination. Martin Luther had seen so many theological gymnastics done to God’s Word over time that he finally broke. His desire was to return the church to the unaltered, unsuppressed, infallible Word of God (The Bible) as its North Star and final authority rather than what any religious institution had to say—basically the idea was to listen to what God said about Himself rather than to what man said God was saying about Himself. Which is not to say that we shouldn’t listen to pastors and teachers and so forth. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing with my life if I believed that. But I am saying that we should always interpret scripture in light of other scriptures rather than whatever cultural wave happens to be hitting the spiritual shores at the time, rather than what Benny Hinn says he heard God say, rather than taking Joel Olsteen’s smiling word for it. For that matter, I hope the people of Southbrook don’t just take my Word for it, but rather, check what I say in God’s Holy book!

If we disagree, I’m wrong.

Period.

And that’s what happened far too much for Martin Luther. He found the Bible in opposition to what church leaders were saying over and over again. And when the two disagreed, the Bible lost every time. That didn’t sit well with his righteous soul, and it should never sit well with any Christ follower.

Presto – Chang-o, the Lutheran denomination was born.

But it wasn’t perfect.

Far from it.

So godly men responded.

abracadabra –

Presbyterians

Poof

Baptists

and on and on it went. Now, I hope you all realize that it wasn’t that simple. I mean, there are over 300 denominations just within the baptist camp alone—thousands all together. Some have minor differences. Others are major.

But after a while one could clearly see these schisms and factions arising more out of personal preference than theological essentials.

And when that happens it’s time to call it a day.

Today the world doesn’t need even one more denomination (we need a couple thousand less if you ask me). We simply need the truth of God’s Word to be proclaimed. In doing this there can (and should) be different styles—traditional, contemporary, postmodern, emergent, underwater basket weaving theologians, whatever, as long as God’s Word is the final authority I don’t think God cares the least bit what style you use.

What He does care about is that you live your life according to the purposes and mission He has given you. You can read about them here and here.

And remember…

Anything else is just an exercise in futility.