Girls Write Out
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
It's a beautiful, cool morning in the Ozarks, and the cats are getting ready to run outside and enjoy the day before the heat kicks in again. All is right with the world. I have my Bible and study book with me, and am thinking about a chapter I read last week that really opened my eyes to something I had not considered before. I found it in Acts 15, which I have read countless times in the past. Since it's such a long passage, I won't include it here, but the gist of it is that the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem wanted the Gentile Christians to conform to the Jewish lifestyle in order to be Christians. But the Holy Spirit had other ideas, and He made this known as He baptized those Gentiles, Himself, before the council could approve. In the end, the Gentiles were urged to observe a few rules in order to live Godly lives.

But what about those Jews who insisted on the stricter lifestyle? Did they suddenly lose their salvation because they chose to place trust in not just the Holy Spirit, but in their tried and true rituals, as well? The way I read it, they did not. They stayed in Jerusalem and observed the stricter laws of the Old Testament, while living out their faith in Christ. I imagine the early church really had its challenges as people from different walks of life struggled to live together in harmony. But they did it.

In my simplistic way of looking at things, it appears to me that somewhere along the way we lost that ability to live together in harmony, and denominations came into being. Me? I'm Southern Baptist, but when I'm traveling and need a place to worship on Sunday morning, I'll walk into any Christian church. Two years ago, it was a Catholic church, and I was so uplifted and inspired by the music and preaching that I glowed for the rest of the day. Yes, the Catholics live by a different set of rules than my own denomination, but really? I don't agree totally with all of even my own denominational set of guidelines. So who am I to say that if someone believes they have to also do such-and-such, they've turned their backs on Christ? Read Acts 15. This chapter was freeing to me. I can allow others to serve Him their own way, and I can serve Him in mine. If they claim Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as their Savior and turn away from their past life of sin, that's the ticket for me. They are fellow believers, and I must love them as my brothers and sisters in Christ. Having done that just this past weekend, with believers all across the board, I've found that there is a sweetness of spirit that draws me to a different plain of worship.


Hannah Alexander  
posted at 8:38 AM  
  Comments (5)
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At 12:41 PM, Blogger Timothy Fish said...

I would caution you to not forget what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 11:4. While many groups claim to worship Jesus Christ, it is only through weighing their doctrine against the word of God that we are able to determine if their Jesus is the same Jesus we are to worship. To be honest, I find that there are many groups out there, including the Catholics, that I agree with on many things, but we must be careful about sacrificing the most important doctrines in order that we can work together on things of less importance.

At 5:28 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

I've found that believers in other denominations are much like me--they go to the Bible for their doctrines. I have found that by their fruits, I will know them.

At 6:12 PM, Blogger Sally said...

Great post, Hannah! I agree w/ you! There are believers (and thus, "Christians") in every denomination, including Catholics...but there are also people in each of those denominations who are not saved, and it's not up to us to judge them. Our Lord and Savior will take care of that!

At 1:11 AM, Blogger Ruthie said...

Amen!! I couldn't have said it better!

As a convert to Catholicism (I had been a Presbyterian for at least 30years of my life), I learned really quickly how deeply many of my fellow Catholics loved Jesus and served Him with all of their being. They were an inspiration to me to love God, to love my neighbors, and to leave everything else up to the Holy Spirit.

And like you, Cheryl, I often am moved by the music and the Scripture readings in the Mass. It's as though the Holy Spirit chose those songs and readings just for me!

At 12:22 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Well said, Sally and Ruthie. There are those in every denomination who hurt the name of Christ, and those in every Christian denomination who are sold out to Christ and serve through that particular denomination.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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