This is a post I wrote on the “Satisfaction Through Christ” blog on September 8, 2016. I’m posting the first part of the article here and you will have to click on the link at the bottom to finish reading.
Instead of sharing straight from Scripture this time, I am going to share some things about my story. My heart is heavy with many things. I came across an old Tweet that I had re-tweeted from a previous pastor, with a quote that said something like, “God doesn’t care about your religion; it’s your relationships that matter.” I agreed with it at the time, but things have changed in my heart.
While it is true that we as believers are to love our neighbors and to go into the world and make disciples, I now think that religion matters more than what that quote seems to say. I have heard twice this week that the old saying, “don’t be so heavenly minded you’re of no earthly good,” should not be heeded, and I agree.
I’ve been a Christian for 35 years, worked in a church for four years, and have attended eight churches in four states over those years. I only bring that up to say that never in that time, until now, have I considered myself Reformed or a Calvinist. In fact, I used to sway the Arminian way. The churches we’ve attended have pretty much all been the “squishy” seeker-sensitive types, welcoming all, making a point to not worry too much about the “little” things in our theology, as long as we agree on the big things. Most of them ranged from being open and accepting to the spiritual gifts to being outright charismatic.
We just relocated to Maine a year ago, and that outright charismatic church is one we began attending here. New England isn’t known for having many churches – especially good Gospel preaching ones. As I was researching more into the spiritual gifts since we were surrounded by all of it at this church, I realized that I was in danger of being led astray in all of it. I talked with my husband and we left that church.
I delved into studying theology, doctrine, church history, and most importantly, God’s Word. God’s grace turned me around, and brought me back into the fold and changed my thinking. Despite the low number of churches to choose from here, I was able to find a handful of churches that might be okay. We tried two and have attended the second one for several weeks. This church is not Reformed, but does seem to hold to most Calvinistic doctrines, as this is the camp where I have firmly landed.
Keep reading your Bible!