Faith, mountain mover, overcome, strength, mustard seed · Father · God · Love · relationship vs religion · The LIght, Be the Light, Darkness overcome · The wonder of God · Uncategorized · unity in spirit

The Sum Total of Who We Are

When asked, I jokingly say I am a Heinz 57 Christian. Not because I believe there is more than one God or more than one way to God. No, there is only one God and one way to God and that is through our belief in Jesus.

I say that I am a Heinz 57 Christian because I am a mix of denominations. Growing up I lived in a variety of places and attended a variety of church’s. Some of the most notable were where we lived during my late middle school and high school years; a rural area in the northwest part of Oklahoma (not that there was any kind of big metropolis most of that area is rural). While there I attended an assembly of God, Church of Christ, Catholic, Baptist and Nazarene. Before that Methodist and Church of God in Christ, after that Lutheran and non-denominational all of which taught me something about the body of Christ.

First, let me say that there is a distinct difference between religion and relationship. To me religion is the building, the institution, the denomination that defines where one goes to church. Relationship is the heart to heart, daily living out, changing of ones self to reflect the ONE that defines why we go to church. Religion reflects differing ideas and opinions on theology, and dictates what each denomination chooses to believe in, in whole or in part as a reflection of the bible. Our depth and breadth of our relationship with the ONE determines our reflection of the bible in whole or in part.

So why am I making such a distinction and why does it matter? Our relationship with God, the creator of all things; determines how we live out each day. It is based on his love, mercy and grace displayed towards us. Because of that we are able to then turn and display the same love, mercy and grace toward one another. Religion demands certain “works” or abstaining from “certain things” in order to please God (according to man) or be right with the denomination one has chosen. In relationship with him we only have to have faith in HIM to please him.

Attending so many different faith filled communities has taught me this; denomination to denomination we have a lot in common. If we as Christians keep the main thing the main thing, and that is that there is only one way that leads to God and that is belief in Jesus. Jesus came down from his rightful place in heaven to earth in the form of man. He died on the cross as a once and for all sacrificial atonement of our sins. He was buried and rose again and is now seated at the right hand of God. One day he will return for his people. When we do we eliminate all that is divided between the denominations and brings into sharp focus the one thing that creates unity, Jesus. It is unity in the spirit that makes room for an atmosphere of repentance and an ushering in of revival. It is unity in the spirit that strongholds over cities and states and nations are broken. It is unity in the spirit that touches heaven where our prayers and petitions are answered. It is unity in the spirit that makes room for the ONE to heal, redeem, restore, and provide for his people in miraculous ways.

Religion would have us look at the issues that make us different and declare each of us as right. Relationship would have us put aside those differences and have us focus on the ONE that is capable of declaring us right with the father. It is the relationship with God not the religion that man made determines the sum total of who we are on any given day.

Copyright©2023 Melanie McKinley.  All Rights Reserved


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