I’m writing this a week from our first Citywide Celebration here in Charlotte.
The week ending has been one of new, wonderful, Kingdom connections. They happen for one reason: our mutual love for Jesus Christ and the overflow of His love in us unites our hearts. Yes, it is that simple. But our journey has not always been so simple. Past relationships have been marred by devotion to theology, vision, and leaders that transcended love for the Savior. We cannot claim innocence from these forms of idolatry.
We are now in a season with an uncanny sense of eternity. I may be naïve. But I do not believe these bonds of love will be broken so easily. Yes, our Father may reposition any one of us geographically for His Kingdom purposes. But in the circles connecting now I don’t expect to see wholesale alienation of brothers and sisters driven by carnal sectarianism. Time will tell.
People often ask me for church referrals. My answers today are completely different from 3 years ago. Back then I would have tried to get them into my church or church “family”. Now I ask them a question: “Irrespective of “church”, what relationships has the Lord given you? Who has he connected you to?” I now believe that is the real starting place for real Christian fellowship.
In Colossians 2, Paul tells us to walk in Him just as we have received Him. And he goes on in verses 16-19 to warn us not to let anyone judge us on several criteria: old covenant principles, extra-biblical experiences, and unreasonable and proud people prompted by a sensuous mind. (the latter has many religious forms) But the shot to the jugular comes next, “not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.”
The Church Jesus is building is rooted in EVERYONE “holding fast to the Head”. From there we are nourished and knit together through joints and ligaments… and we grow with a growth FROM GOD. . Forced relationships built merely on belief systems and loyalty to organizations just don’t cut it, and it is time we all stop allowing guilt and warped perspectives on “loyalty” to keep us simply functioning in futility.