One thing that I hate with a passion is when a church says, “We have the one
true doctrine and all others are wrong,” or else, “The way we worship is the one true way.” Garbage! I believe in the teachings and doctrine of the Lutheran church. For me, it’s as close as I can tell to being an accurate depiction of what the Bible says. But, thinking that we have it right and that we are perfect really, I believe, is a sin. We can know a lot about God, but some things he hasn’t revealed to us. To say that we know things perfectly is to go beyond where God has allowed us to go. And to say that we have the one true way of worship is also a sin. Worship is about giving glory to God and praising Him for who He is and what He’s done. Because God has created much different people in this world means that there will be much different ways/styles of worship. And we should embrace that. I have a style of worship that I like and that works best for me in praising God, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t see the benefit of other styles. Being open-minded and appreciative of the differences is really what God is asking us to be.
God is opening my mind this week. I’m at a Lutheran pastor’s conference in Chicago. I’m hearing presentations about churches and how they are doing ministry. And it’s striking to me how different churches in different contexts are doing such different things. Last week at worship we talked about how when the Holy Spirit comes in our life, we become a different person! The same could be said of God’s church. He is moving people and churches to do what is necessary for the sake of the Gospel. It reminded me of what St. Paul said:
1 Corinthians 9:22-23: I have become all things to all people so that by all
possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of
the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
I’m hearing presentations on how one church is reaching the Hindus, another church reaching out to the Chinese, another who is reaching out to the Hispanic community, etc. We, of course, are reaching out to all in East Lake County, but especially targeting families with young kids with our larger events. And what I realized is that what is most important is that we simply walk through the doors that God has opened for us. Those doors are much different for us than they are for some other church. All God is asking for us to do is to have the courage to continue to walk through the doors He opens for us. And I believe we’re doing that now.
What doors are God opening for you?
I pray that no matter what doors He’s opening for you that you would not only have the courage to walk through them but continue to be open to the fact that He might be opening different doors for others. Others may be doing ministry and church different than us, and it’s important for us not to say that “We are doing it the right way,” but rather to pray for guidance and wisdom for all other churches and to come to appreciate that there are many different ways to reach many different people!