Repost: “Yield”

“The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it!”

“You do you – live your truth, babe!”

These are exemplary of the sentiments I often hear when I discuss faith & sexuality with others. Honestly I find both of them to be pretty reductionistic. Neither go a super long way in actually helping one make responsible life choices or grow in wisdom and discernment.

For those of us who follow Jesus, we do not dive headlong into letting our fickle emotions drive our biggest life decisions. Neither do we throw our internal compass out the window and robotically comply with the modern evangelical standard of biblical interpretation. Rather, we give our allegiance to a living Person — who is very relational, respectful, dignifying, and process-oriented. That being the case, I generally think it is good to develop a deeper and more nuanced approach to sorting through decisions concerning things like our identity and destiny.

In light of the lively discussion some have had since I came out online, I thought it might be good to re-share this post I wrote back in early 2020. Hopefully it will give a good window into how I’m trying to navigate my own approach to life. Maybe it will even give someone else some food-for-thought in their own process…

_____________________________

I asked a leader for prayer a while back. Instead of a mere prayer he gave me a prophecy. “I see you standing at a fork in the road,” he said “and you want to know if you should turn to the right or to the left. But the only sign the Lord is giving you is to ‘yield.’” How true that message was…

So often in life I want clear-cut, directional answers. I want to be told what to do. Where to go. How to move forward. What to believe. Over and over though, God seems to ask me to simply “yield.” To open my heart to Him in the midst of my tension and grow in wisdom rather than certainty about my own future.

When it comes to decision-making, I think the Lord is always teaching me that the important thing is not that we figure out WHAT to do as much as HOW to do it. The posture we take is more important than the conclusion we come to.

For instance, when we make big choices….

Are we running from difficulty and discomfort or facing it bravely?

Are we making our decisions independently in isolation or in community with trusted loved ones who are invested in our wellbeing?

Are we being haste and reactive to situations or thoughtful and responsive?

Are we wanting God to make decisions for us? Or are we dialoguing with Him and inviting Him into our own process of taking ownership for where we end up?

Are we thinking in black-and-white like a fundamentalist, “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” on all our old approaches? Or are we weighing our decisions in light of their full complexity and admitting we don’t have a fool-proof plan for how to proceed?

Are we being both emotionally honest and intellectually honest with ourselves and others?

Are we being true to both our own deepest desires and strongest convictions, or are we repressing them?

Are we moving and acting out of a place of fullness, internal rest, trust and health? Or are we operating out of anxiousness, insecurity, compulsion, self-preservation and heightened confusion?

And of course, are we wrestling with what we understand the various authors of Scripture had to say on the subject? They do have an abundance of time-tested, reliable revelation to offer.

There’s always so much to consider in life. We’re always evolving, we’re always facing new challenges and we often find ourselves in new places of transition. The trick is not to make the “right” turn at the crossroad. The trick is to lean into Christ’s leadership, His logic, His ways-of-operation in the middle of it all. We make a lot less regrettable mistakes when we are mindful to yield and follow His approach as we proceed.

Related Posts:

A Bit About My Faith & Sexuality

RE: coming out

 

RE: coming out

Since coming out to the world of social media the other day, I have observed a lot of people discussing what my theological and ethical stances are on sexual desire and expression. Some folks have asked me questions about this directly, and others have simply affirmed and honored me for stances they perceive I am holding. I generally welcome the feedback and conversation.

Nevertheless — as much as I think it is important to weigh our beliefs and practices against scriptural teaching, and to discern how to humbly follow Christ’s leadership in these areas — I want to be clear that I was intentional about avoiding the opportunity to define all my stances in one post. I have PLENTY of opinions related to all things at the intersection of LGBTQ issues & faith… There are a couple of those opinions I’m sure I won’t be quiet about forever. But all of that ultimately is not the hill I want to die on.

For one, I don’t want to always play into the silly culture war — if I can avoid it.  Secondly, I simply don’t need to tell the whole world what I think is right. I’ll more likely share about that with folks who share in common with me some fundamental assumptions about the very nature of truth. I can’t expect everyone to live the way I live when we don’t have the same core values or give allegiance to the same sources of authority.

Beyond that though, I could also just say this: It wasn’t an ethical or moral stance that made me fall in love with Jesus in the first place. And it wasn’t the tossing out of an ethical or moral stance that helped me figure out how to get more free from shame or how to grow more integrated as a person. I’ve long wanted far more clarity and resolution about all my “stances” than I’ve been able to find. But that has apparently never been a big priority to Jesus, in comparison to His own insistent pursuit of my simple trust. Our connection is thriving, and that doesn’t rise and fall on what an amazing job I do at managing my sexuality, coming to correct doctrinal conclusions, or identifying myself according to any expected criteria. Our relationship is covenantal, not contractual.

For the record, if you want to know if I’m “pure” or not, I can answer that in two ways:

— On the basis of my own merits and performance — Nope. I don’t have any purity to assert. The quality of my lifestyle, behavior, convictions, and intentions would not earn me anything in the big scheme of things. Feel free to assume the worst.

— On the basis of how Christ has so generously and thoroughly transformed the very essence of who I am, bringing me into holy union with Himself — 100%! I’m dead to sin and as pure as can be (Romans 6:11, 2 Corinthians 5:21). I’ve got His own righteousness flowing through my veins (even on my worst days), and I did nothing to achieve that or make it happen.

It is “because of Him [I am] in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption…” 1 Corinthians 1:30. He chose me (John 15:16). And He offers His full embrace to all humanity (2nd Corinthians 5:19-20).

My biggest conviction is the same as Paul’s… “Indeed, I count everything [that brought me status] as [dead to me] because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. [May I] be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the Law, but that which comes through trust in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on trust” (Philippians 3:8-9). That is ultimately the only thing that puts my heart at rest.

Wherever you are in your own process, I hope your heart will find its rest in that place of security too.

In Christ alone, my hope is found…

And as He stands in victory

Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me

For I am His and He is mine

Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

 

Related Post:

A Bit About My Faith & Sexuality

A Bit About My Faith & Sexuality

Hesitations

I’ve gone back and forth a few times about whether or not I want to talk about my sexuality much in public. I planned on making a post about it back in November of 2019, and I even had a specific date picked to do so. It was going to be a Sunday. The night before, the pastor of my church randomly called me out of the crowd and prophesied over me that the trajectory of my life was going to be forever different because of that weekend. That seemed like exactly the kind of overly-dramatic boost of encouragement I thought I needed. So I wrote an article, posted it on my blog… and shortly thereafter removed it, without ever publishing it to social media.

My life went on as usual.

All that said, I’ve shared this with a number of you in person or in my home group already. Nevertheless, I’ve recently come to terms with the fact that I still need to be more open about it. Especially with some of you that I’ve only come to know in the last couple years. God’s Spirit has seemed to be haunting me lately, regularly impressing upon me to more thoroughly address this subject. So rather than continuing to resist His clear prompting, I’m going to course-correct a bit before entering into 2022.

Here is the long and short of it…

From the time I was a young child I can remember having attractions primarily for other males. For many years I tried various methods of changing my orientation. I cried out for “holiness” in my personal prayer times. I went through countless Charismatic deliverance and inner healing sessions. I endlessly claimed and confessed to be straight (in Jesus’ name!), trying to manifest what I wanted to be my reality. I occasionally dated girls and basically led them on in the process. Then late into my twenties, I started to develop stronger-than-usual feelings for a bisexual guy I worked with. 

For the first time in my life, I realized my attraction to a guy was much more than just the shallow, lustful feeling of a “temptation.” My romantic interest was mixed with a deep, genuine care for this guy — and I was terrified of that fact. I slowly let my heart become attached to him, and when he didn’t reciprocate I was pretty crushed.

I went on a brief fast in the beginning of the next year, asking God to give me clear counsel. Instead of giving me answers, He gave me more questions. That week launched me into a much longer process of more deeply assessing all my most fundamental assumptions about my theology, and I welcomed the Lord to guide me towards a deeper understanding of truth through it all.

When it came to my orientation particularly, I only thought I had two options at the time. I could keep attempting to live as a straight man and hope my same-sex attractions would eventually go away. Or, I could embrace my sexuality honestly and leave orthodox Christianity to go look for relational fulfillment outside the Church.

I was constantly talking to God about how to move forward and was struggling to discern what He was saying in response. 

A Vision of A Butterfly

One Thursday night during this season I went to the Gateway House of Prayer for a young-adult worship gathering. We were all pouring our hearts out to the Lord in song, telling Him how much we trusted Him with our futures. I was sitting in my seat praying quietly, “Jesus, I do trust you. Yet I sense you want me to reconcile with my sexuality somehow. What does that look like? Do I need to come out to all of these people in order to more sincerely invite them alongside me in my journey?” I was so confused, and thought that coming out might mean I would then be pressured to leave my community or to jump into a type of dating life that I didn’t feel comfortable with.

Only moments later, my friend Stacia went up to the microphone and asked if she could share a prophetic word with the room. She’d had a vision come to her mind, and she said it was a picture of a butterfly coming out of its cocoon. It had rainbow colored wings. She felt that God was encouraging us to embrace the transformation process He was leading us to and to become more authentic in our expression of what the Holy Spirit was doing within our lives. My buddy Steve then came up to the microphone and said God was further telling him, “This is all to be done in a posture of surrender to the Lord’s will.”

Needless to say, I was floored. I felt like God was answering me directly, but I still had no clue what it would look like to “come out” of my own cocoon in a more public way. So I continued opening up to only a select few individuals, and (though the process constantly intimidated me) I researched further on how to integrate being same-sex attracted with sincerely honoring the Lordship of Jesus.

A Constant Learning Process

For the next several years, God was faithful to carefully lead me one step at a time to exactly the places I needed to be. He led me to online support groups. He brought me great therapists. He helped me discover the Revoice Conference in my own hometown — a gathering for non-straight believers of all denominations who were seeking to honor their understanding of what the historic, biblical boundaries are for sex and marriage. All of this and more was opening my eyes to a whole world of wisdom and insight I had previously been completely oblivious to.

At the same time, I was also getting close to some really incredible guy friends — including my best friend Jackson. I was starting to find that my orientation didn’t have to drive a wedge between me and other guys who I wanted a strong relationship with. Though it was a long battle of learning how to navigate different friendship dynamics, I was finding a more significant measure of genuine intimacy and companionship — even outside of a conventional romantic partner. God was giving me more of the brotherhood and family that I saw Scripture suggest was available to me (Psalm 37:4, 2 Samuel 1:26, Luke 18:29-30). 

Time for Metamorphosis

Flash forward to 2019. I was at home listening to a sermon by Lyle Phillips of Legacy Church in Nashville. In it, he talked about how Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24). Lyle talked about how Jesus — even in His divine perfection — could only accomplish so much in His ministry on earth without going through a death and resurrection. It wasn’t enough for Jesus to reach the masses via His miracles and His sermons. He was called to reach whole generations yet to come, and that would only come through a deeper surrender to the Father’s plans for Him on the Cross.

Lyle encouraged his listeners to embrace their own transformation process, sacrificially laying aside a version of themselves they were comfortable with so that God could bring them into a more full realization of His own vision for their lives. Lyle compared this process to a caterpillar being transfigured into a butterfly through metamorphosis, and I knew the Holy Spirit was once again trying to grab my attention.

It was time to lay aside my false “straight” identity altogether, yielding my own will in order to enter into a new phase of life. God had more sons and daughters (both gay and straight) who would benefit from hearing more parts of my story. I had to take up the “cross” life seemed to be offering me. That is, I was being invited to let go of trying to hold onto an image and reputation that I pretty desperately wanted to cling to.

Around the time of my birthday that year, I ended up sharing a long version of my testimony with 20 or 30 folks in my home group. My community responded super warmly and graciously to me. I found I was able to build even closer relationships with some of them than I had before. I was able to talk about how the Gospel has transformed, empowered and redefined me throughout the context of my somewhat unique life experiences. I’ve found over and over that it can resonate with people no matter what their own background is.

What Lies Ahead

From here on out, I hope to continue the same type of conversations all the more. I want to celebrate all that God has done in my life through the years, and I don’t want to always tiptoe around parts of my story that people might not have a good theological framework for. I think Jesus gets glory from it, and that’s what matters most to me.

There’s probably a lot more I could say about my experiences and about what I’ve learned from them, and I’ll likely continue to make posts related to all of this at times in the future. But for now, I just want to say thank you for reading. I’m excited to further share my heart with you in any future interactions we might have.

For those of you who are curious to learn more about this subject — below are some other great, relevant resources that have helped me over the years. I hope you’ll glean from them as much as I have!

Much love to you all… & happy New Year’s!

— Destin

Recommended Resources:

https://www.postureshift.com/ 

https://www.centerforfaith.com/

https://www.lifeonsideb.com/thefoursides 

https://www.youtube.com/c/Revoice/videos

https://www.prestonsprinkle.com/theology-in-the-raw/916-misty-irons 

What Does Consecration Look Like?

It’s common for a post to come up on my Instagram feed saying something like, “Avoid people who hold you back. Surround yourself with people who help you reach your goals.” It’s a popular sentiment, and there is definitely some super practical wisdom in it worth implementing.

That said, Jesus did not necessarily practice this philosophy very well. He left Glory to come spend His entire life on Earth surrounded by people who did not share His vision or values. He gave all His time, heart and energy to unhealthy, dysfunctional, toxic folks — many of whom did not even want what He had to offer them.

There simply were no other purpose-driven believers quite like Jesus for Him to share fellowship and accountability with. Nevertheless, He still worked on building deep friendships where He could (checkout Luke 7:33-34, Matt. 11:16-19, John 15:15). And He did so even if it wasn’t always clearly in His own best interest.

I worry that much of the Christian world today is insular, committed to building a subculture that stands in competition with the rest of society (rather than in service to all humanity). Some of us DO care about evangelism and missions, but mostly when it involves making converts that adopt our best doctrines, ethics & agendas. I’m not sure we always make an effort to live incarnationally — invested joyfully in long-term relationships with people who don’t believe and behave as we do.

Bill Johnson once said something like, “If what you offer only has any relevance within the boundaries of the Church, it’s not actually of Christ’s Kingdom.” I think that’s probably true.

Can the self-righteous label us a “friend of sinners” like our Master was accused of being? If not, it’s possible we’ve gotten off track somewhere. It could be worthwhile for us to rethink our approach to what it means to live in a truly consecrated, set-apart, Christ-like manner. HE is the model for what that looks like.

Some Thoughts on “Paradoxes”

One definition of “paradox” is “a seemingly absurd statement about two ideas that appear to be in tension, that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded, true and harmonious.” Paradox is real and it is mysterious and it is wonder-inducing. Growing in spiritual maturity always requires us to learn to sit with and explore the paradoxes of life. Much revelation is found from seeing how truth is revealed in ways that at first might make our heads spin for a moment.

That being said, there are very common ways to speak about theology, spirituality and the nature of humanity that are not *paradoxical — but rather are pointlessly conflicting and self-contradictory. Further, trying to force these ideas to fit together not only might offer us no practical benefit… It often can actually make us double-minded. By trying to live out of such confusion, we could be interfering with our own ability to more effectively walk in integrity.

Sometimes, we are just too quick to use God’s ineffability and our finiteness as excuses to overlook the fact that we have adopted notions that simply don’t work together in any fruitful, rational, or recognizably beautiful way. The result is a lot of unnecessary cognitive dissonance. Much of that can be resolved when we get a little clearer on what opposing doctrines we hold to and why, and graciously let go of those that are actually intruding deceptions.

Let us embrace paradox wherever it may be encountered. But may we also give ourselves permission to avoid over-complications of the truth when we’re having difficulty reconciling things that clearly do not belong together in the first place.

Essentialism vs. Existentialism

Do our choices ultimately form who we are becoming? Or do our choices tend to flow from the center of who we already are at a base level? Do we “make something of ourselves” — or simply learn to express who we’ve been made to be?

As I understand it, how we answer these questions determines whether our philosophical framework is more an “existentialist” one or an “essentialist” one. And in the Christian community, which stance we take in the philosophical debate is likely to correlate to the theology we develop about subjects like “sanctification,” “depravity” and “identity.”

I heard a local megachurch pastor recently assert that “every part of our being” is marred by sinfulness, and that we need to constantly try to make decisions to become more free of sin’s mastery over us. Five minutes later his message took a turn and he then stated that Jesus has already radically transformed us and liberated us from the power of sin “at the core of our being.” Such statements are flat out contradictory to one another, but I continuously hear similar contradictions coming from every corner of the Church world. With such contradictions also come all sorts of mental gymnastics used to try and explain and reconcile this mixture of ideas that (if we’re honest) simply do not fit together in a functional way.

As I see it, a lot of this confusion comes from the fact that we go back and forth between talking as if we’re existentialists trying to define and better ourselves to talking as if we’re essentialists who have a fixed, God-given sense of self. We speak about human nature without clarifying which framework we hold to most tightly or which we are operating in from one moment to the next.

What is the fruit of these countering philosophies (and their related theologies)? What aesthetics do these notions hold? What are their implications? Are we even holding to what we assume we believe consistently? Or do our assertions about these subjects lack clarity, definition and sensibleness?

From my vantage point, it seems that a lot of this is still pretty fuzzy in our collective thought. I propose it would do us all good to more seriously think about how we’re thinking about these matters.

A Healthier Approach to My Spirituality

My whole life I’ve had preachers tell me I needed to “crucify the flesh” within me in order to be close to God. “Yes, He is always present, but it’s His MANIFEST Presence that is cut off from us because of our sinfulness.” The solution? Lots of time in isolation crying out to the Lord. Continual pleading for forgiveness. Subjective experiences with the power of the Spirit that would hopefully, finally “mortify” at least some of the power of sin over my life…

A Broken Pattern

I bought into this kind of messaging and I put it into practice. I would hunger and thirst after the manifest Presence. I desperately spent endless hours confessing and renouncing my failures, asking God to cleanse me of every wicked thought or deed. And I chased manifestations of the Spirit like they were Pokemon… “Gotta catch ‘em all!”

Truth be told, there wasn’t much I wouldn’t do at that time for a spiritual high or for a reassurance that I was currently “right with God.” The problem was, it was all temporary. It was cyclical. I’d sin, or even just feel what I perceived was a temptation, and I’d be reminded again of my depravity. I was acutely aware of the apparent distance between myself and the One I wished I could better serve. Any security or assurance I had previously felt would escape me, and I’d be stuck in a mental battle with “conviction” until either 1) I started feeling like I was performing better or 2) I started thinking I’d had a revelation on how to get it right the next time the devil came to test me.

If I ever did seem to succeed at walking in obedience and in peace for a while, I was made to second guess myself by sermons telling me that I needed God to search my hidden motives all the more. After all, “nobody is perfect!” I wouldn’t want to get prideful!

My perpetual prayer was for God to transform me. To deliver me. Essentially, to fix me. All the while, I believed I was “legally justified” and technically in right-standing with God. I just couldn’t seem to get such ideas to bring me consistent comfort.

A New Message

Eventually, I came across some crazy grace-preachers who were preaching a message I’d never heard before… A message that struck me as heretical at worst, or “out of balance” at best. Like Paul, they taught that I was already thoroughly “dead to sin and alive to God” (Romans 6:11,14). That I am no longer “in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God is within” (Romans 8:9). That Jesus actually finished the job of crucifying my old self, and now “it is not I who live but Christ who lives within me” (Galatians 2:20). That, by some mysterious miracle 2,000 years ago, I “have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10). According to these guys, I “have been made complete in Christ” (Colossians 2:10)… Most confounding of all, they said I couldn’t be any closer to God than I already am, for “he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” (1st Cor. 6:17).

At first it was hard for me to stomach these radical, absurd notions. Nevertheless, I quickly began to recognize that the depths of my being overwhelmingly resonated with such truths. In a variety of ways, the Spirit of God clearly gave His stamp of approval to these teachings over and over. Through Scripture, I further began to find that these concepts were not just “part” of the Gospel. My research revealed that these concepts were ALL over the whole New Testament (and in much of the Old) — infused in the entire proclamation of Christ’s work.

Slowly but surely, I began a serious, intense religious detox. I was “deconstructing” before it was ever a buzzword. All the while, I fell more and more in love with the person of Jesus and more convinced of both His utter goodness and His insane loyalty to me.

Laying aside my self-righteous piety, I broke up with spiritual desperation. I abandoned my BS repentance rituals. At last, I let go of my confused commitment to what I called “self-denial” (which was really just self-loathing and shame with a nice coat of paint on it).

Very New Results

And would you believe it, my sense of connection with God improved exponentially. I started becoming aware of His nearness and activity in every area of my life — every day. Even on my worst days. I started having many more wild and frequent manifestations of the Spirit and His gifts in my life too, to the degree that I had to get used to NOT having dry-spells anymore. Confoundingly, despite being told that my willful, ongoing sin would push Him away — I even felt close to the Father when I recognized I was practicing bad habits! 

Over time, this all helped me only want to invite Christ’s leadership into my decisions all the more… I welcomed His input on my choices, not because I was still afraid of what would happen to me if I didn’t do so. Rather, it was because I was genuinely confident that He was invested in my well being for the long haul, through thick and thin.

Somehow, all these changes further gave me confidence to become more authentically vulnerable with both God and with other people. I generally quit shying away from discussing my weaknesses, failures or embarrassments. Because of that, I started developing a level of intimacy in my friendships that I didn’t even dream was possible. In the process, I came to see self-acceptance and Christ-like self-sacrifice as working together in harmony (instead of being in tension with one another).

I still embrace the need to address areas of dysfunction in my mindsets and behaviors, of course. Nevertheless, I’m done trying to in any sense improve on who I am. With that, I’ve completely ceased feeling like I get out of touch with God’s nearness! My prayer-life has only been enriched, and with so much less effort than it ever took me in my adolescence…

No Barriers to His Presence

My point in sharing all of this is to encourage you to stop buying into confusing, self-contradictory, mixed-messaging. Give yourself permission to take a deep-dive into the unconditional love and unmerited favor God so freely gives to you. Further, carefully filter through any voices that tell you there are prerequisites or qualifications needed for you to experience oneness with the Lord. 

If we can just quit tripping ourselves up with traditions and arguments that deny the Finished Work of Christ’s Cross, we CAN experience a more substantial satisfaction and contentment in everyday life. Even on our worst days and in our hardest seasons! After about a decade of living this way, I can guarantee it is real and it is better than what much of the evangelical and Charismatic world portrays as possible on this side of the age-to-come.

Lean into the faithfulness of God. He is here, He is for you, and He is endlessly accessible. He refuses to define any part of you by your decisions, and there are no barriers or obstacles standing between the two of you.

 

. . . .

The formation of the future involves our participation. The universe is rigged to change largely in cooperation with our individual and collective agency, not merely according to an independent, automated grand scheme. The miraculous is deeply hard-wired into the process for sure, but more times than we’d like to admit divine intervention comes in the form of human instruments. You and I. If we are surrendered, we are ourselves a massive part of heaven’s response to the ills of this world.

Don’t under-estimate your significance. Your creative imagination, your bravery, your truest, self-less spirit is a gift to us all. Let grace breathe afresh upon and empower your most substantive ambitions. Lend your energies to the coming Kingdom. Lean into the great dream, into the HOPE you were designed to embody. And embrace the personal transformation that your obstacles will invite you into along the way.

Your life is meant to express the reality that all things are being made new. Don’t just wait for an answer from above… Engage in the unfolding of it.

Follow @destintweets

It Matters.

Breonna Taylor’s life matters.

Black lives matter.

Muslim lives matter.

Trans lives matter.

Immigrant lives matter.

The victims of sex trafficking and

forced labor matter.

If you’re reading this, YOUR life matters.

However you might feel maligned, marginalized or lacking, I pray that — no matter what contradictory messages our culture gives you right now — you would be deeply convinced that you have endless worth. This was true of you before you even left your mother’s womb, long before you lived a life that the dominant society around you might recognize as making a valuable contribution to its agendas.

Your life matters, not because of what you are able to make of it through your own success or good, moral performance. Not even because you respected the value of others around you properly. It is simply because of WHO you are. Or maybe better said, because of WHOSE you are.

You matter to the gracious Source of all life from whom we each originated. You matter to the one who dreamed you up, who came to redeem you, who constantly reaches out and speaks to your heart to remind you of how incredibly cherished you are…

“He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of the poets have said, ‘For we are all His offspring.’”

Child of the Divine, trust that your very being in this world is significant and ought to be dignified. Your Maker deems it to be utterly precious.

 

Moving Past Sectarianism

I always grew up going to nondenominational churches. When I was about 14, I remember reflecting on some of the things that made my church’s worship different from other churches. We occasionally waved flags and shook tambourines, we raised our hands to the Lord, we anointed people with oil, we had contemporary-sounding music, we prayed “with authority,” etc. I didn’t know of any denominations that had really codified our theology and expression of worship, so I thought I had a novel idea… “God, should I start a new denomination to encapsulate all of this and pass it on to the next generation?”

I then sat down to open my Bible and accidentally opened it right up to 1st Corinthians 1. Immediately my eyes fell on the title of the passage, “Sectarianism is Sin.” It read,

10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? Continue reading Moving Past Sectarianism