[peripheral issues: continued]

[peripheral issues: continued]

First of all, thank y’all for contributing to the feedback on “Peripheral Issues” post. If you have missed the discussion, please click here to see it. It sure brought out a lot of great thoughts.

Like I mentioned before, the idea for the post has been inspired by a friendly argument I witnessed on Monday. Not that it was the first time I have been involved into discussions regarding that, but a quote of a friend of mine stopped me in the track.

“Nazarene? Well, that’s a name. Baptists and Pentecostals and other – these are denominations.”

I looked at her. “Church of the Nazarene is a denomination, not just a name.”

I am all for unity between Christians. Way too often we forget about the fact that we are Christians (followers of Christ, if you wish) and start saying “He is wrong because my way is the only way.” No. If the people agree on the core issues (God, Christ, Trinity, salvation, sin, etc) I have no problems calling them brothers and sisters (even if they might worship differently than I do). I might not be able to worship the way they do, but I respect their relationships with God.

The thing that bugs me is when one Church decides to join another Church, yet without accepting what the other Church is teaching.

For our Church in Ukraine, one of the main things was speaking in tongues. While we do not say that speaking in tongues is wrong or that it is unbiblical, we do not teach that you gotta speak in tongues or else you’re not filled with the Holy Spirit. Speaking in tongues is one of the gifts of the Spirit. NOT the one and only.

And it is annoying when people keep asking the same question over and over and over again, not even listening to the answer unless it is an answer that fits them. Kind of like a discussion in a math class:

“What is 2+2 equal?”
“4.”
“No, no… Forget it.”

“What is 2+2 equal?”
“4.”
“Not the answer we’re looking for. You know, 2+2 really equals 5.”

Before you try to hush me down saying that speaking in tongues isn’t like 2+2=5, I’ll tell you that 2+2 CAN equal 5. Therefore, I am not saying that tongues should be forbidden. I am just saying that

  1. You cannot force the tongues onto a person,
  2. Speaking in tongues is NOT necessary for salvation, and
  3. Just because someone decides to be like the others and starts saying some random things does not mean he’s got a gift of tongues (heard that happen…)…

So when one Church decides to join another Church, it makes me cautious. My mom calls me a hedgehog at those times. If the people don’t agree with what we are teaching, then why join us? Can’t you be your own Church? We will still be Christians all together, but why would you want to become a Nazarene?

I am sorry if I appear too harsh. I guess I have seen too much of the Church’s insides and sometimes it’s just that – TOO MUCH. I don’t want people hurt and I don’t want conflicts later. I just…

UGH. Like I mentioned in one of my Facebook statuses, “Sometimes understanding God is easier than understanding people.” At least, God’s motives are all clear.

Forgive me. I am not sure where I wanted to go with this post. I guess it was just a vent.

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