Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so we are Christ’s. -2 Cor 10:7
My heart has been very burdened lately for the division I see among different denominations and movements of God.
Seeing so much division in the church causes doubt among believers and those whom have not yet accepted God’s call. This is precisely the devil’s plan—if he can divide the church and get believers arguing and striving over theology disputes, then there will be less converts. The church will become powerless this way because there is not a strong foundation.
The ways of God are just too big and mysterious for any one man to have all the answers. There are many things in scripture that are confusing and to my limited finite understanding often seem contradictory to other parts of scripture. The man who has to have an answer for everything in this life, will without a doubt put his faith into some answers that will end up being wrong. The Apostle Paul understood this when he wrote, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! (Rom 11:33). We must approach these issues with humility, knowing that we are never going to have all the answers on this side of the veil! I’ve even heard people say that, “the entire Bible makes complete sense and I’ve never found any parts to contradict each other.” Really? If you’ve said that then I’m not sure what Bible you’re reading. It’s time to get real. It’s time to be authentic and repent of our distrust in God and our need to have all the answers. It’s time to unpack your god box and give the living God room in your life to take control.
It’s time to trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (Prov 3:5)
It breaks my heart seeing brothers in Christ pointing the finger condemning one another—and done with the intentions of serving Christ no less. However, I believe that the finger pointing is actually rooted mostly in pride, fear and insecurity of their own salvation. If someone believes something different from what another has been taught, then suddenly their belief system has been threatened and defense mode kicks in. To feel secure and “provide a defense” the finger pointing starts and the three year old theology bickering begins.
My wife and I have recently moved to become part of a community of believers in Redding, California at Bethel Church. Those of you familiar with the church are probably familiar with it’s many critics as well. The Lord had been calling me here through many dreams, visions, circumstances, impressions and prophetic words spoken over the last year. One day in December I received a very clear word from the Lord that it was time to “Go”. He confirmed this three times. At the time He told us to go I had no way possible of moving. In the next week God performed one miracle after the next opening multiple doors to provide the “how” to His command. He took care of every single detail. He got us both jobs in a city where the unemployment rate is very high. He provided a low rent place to live – and even pet friendly so we could bring our dogs. He provided money gifted to us for moving expenses and even a second car to use so we could both start our new jobs. This all took place in less than one week from getting the “go” command.
Anyways, since moving here on Jan 1st I have become increasingly aware of different groups of Christians who have made it their agenda to criticize the church as being under demonic influence. It just seems so ridiculous to me and it burdens my heart to see them speaking so condescendingly. The Lord has been teaching me to let go of my fear of man and live in freedom from being confident in who He is and who He says I am. Through this process He has put it on my heart to get this off my chest and in a sense “come out,” that I am now a part of the Bethel community and I am not ashamed of my new family. As sure as I am in my salvation, I am sure that the Spirit of the Lord is here with us at Bethel and working through the church. There are many things in life and our spiritual walk that we are never going to fully understand. Pointing the finger at something and calling it demonic every time this happens is just plain childish and precisely what the Pharisees did to Jesus. There have been countless miraculous healings and testimonies of transformed lives as the fruit of Bethel. To call these acts demonic is giving the devil way too much credit.
If you are a person who has spoken out against Bethel then know that I forgive you and I love you as a brother in Christ. We serve the same Lord and I pray that His desire for us to be as one from His love for both of us, would compel you to act also in love toward us here at Bethel.
My prayer today is the same as our Lord’s from John 17:20-21
I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You Father are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.