"What denomination do you belong to? What church do you attend?"
“When you tell somebody you are a Christian, what’s the first question they usually put to you? What denomination do you belong to? What church do you attend? Are you a Baptist, a Methodist, a Lutheran, a Catholic? You know, I don’t believe that God is so much interested in these labels as some human beings are.
Personally, I’ve come to a place in my life where I don’t like to be pigeonholed by a denominational label. I don’t want people to put me into just a little box and say, “That’s where you belong,” because after that they don’t really have much more to think about. I like to leave people thinking. I like to keep them guessing just a little.”
So when people ask me sometimes, “What denomination are you, what church do you attend?” I like to answer, like the psalmist: “I’m a friend to all who fear God, to all who follow His precepts.” It isn’t so much a matter of label; it’s a question of the attitude of the heart and the course of the life. I can truly say I’m a friend to all who fear and love God, to all who follow His precepts. The label doesn’t matter. The attitude of the heart and the course of the life, that’s what’s important. I want to be lined up with all those who truly love God and serve Him of whatever creed or label.” Derek Prince—(Note: See this devotional as instructed below: You can now view the text for this devotional and listen to the original audio by Derek! Click here to go to their website; then look for the box along the right-hand side that says "A Word From the Word". Click there to access the devotional.”
The above quote, which captures my feelings in total, is by Derek Prince. (August 14, 1915–--September 24, 2003), an international Bible teacher with a daily radio program Derek Prince Legacy Radio.
One of the things I love to do as a part of my morning Bible Study is to read devotionals by my favorite spiritual leaders, both dead and alive.
The remarkable thing is though Derek Prince is no longer among the living, the content of this devotional captures in full, my feelings about the Bible, denominations, and other labels our society tend to indulge as we as a city, state, country and world move more and more into division in many areas rather than unity. To me the time to unify is now and a starting point is 2 Chronicles 7:14!!
The Bible is, to me, the most fascinating book in the world. Its purpose is the noblest purpose in the world.
The people who believe in it and even the people who do not believe in it tend to be some of the most thoughtful people in the world and yet, while we rally around this great book together, we continue to separate ourselves by “denominations.” The implication within each denomination is that somehow, that respective denominational choice is a different value than others; mostly better; yet we all use the same Holy Bible.
How can this be? The purpose of the Bible is to provide a universal language. No where as far as I can find does it refer to “denominations.” Yet in today’s spiritual climate, each denomination seeks an identity different from other denominations; though all use the Word of God as a text. It is making less and less sense to me. How powerful it would be if, just once, we focused on unity with the Holy Bible as the focal point rather than “denominational value.”
Philippians 2:3-6, GOD’S WORD Translation, clearly states: “Don’t act out of selfish ambition or be conceited. Instead, humbly think of others as being better than yourselves. 4 Don’t be concerned only about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others. 5 Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Although he was in the form of God and equal with God, he did not take advantage of this equality.”
Derek Prince is no longer among the living, however, his words live in me when he says: “I can truly say I’m a friend to all who fear and love God, to all who follow His precepts. The label doesn’t matter. The attitude of the heart and the course of the life, that’s what’s important. I want to be lined up with all those who truly love God and serve Him of whatever creed or label.”
Should we have different churches as a place for worship? You bet!!! I believe that different teachers and preachers of the Word will appeal to different people. Like 31 flavors, sports teams, and other diverse venues; we all have our preferences; however this is about style and appeal in receiving THE WORD. What’s up with the “denominations?”
Whether one believes in the Bible in part, in total, or not at all; reading it will reveal the wisdom of the contents. Wisdom is what we all need, right now!
It is my sincere prayer that all who read this blog will think about the foregoing and RESPOND the way the Holy Spirit instructs you to do in your heart, mind, and soul.