As we take this journey together towards getting serious, there are a few things I want to touch on in order to help you decide if you want to walk with me. As is often quoted, “how can two walk together unless they agree?” (Amos 3:3–we’ll return to this) We give people whose blogs, twitter accounts, facebook pages, and emails we follow a unique opportunity to influence us. This can be good or bad depending on not only the content of their messages, but also where these messages come from.
I want to start out by saying not all “Christians” are created equal, nor are all “relationship coaches,” “life bloggers,” “writers,” or opinionated readers. Just because they say they are promoting the gospel of Christ, are trying to help people have better lives or relationships, or have wrote a book about A,B, and C doesn’t mean that what they are pushing is something you need to buy.
I have a sister in Christ who is so eager for the Word and for a connection with other young people in Christ that I am worried about. I recognize her enthusiasm, her emotionalism, her need to have these Christian friendships for accountability. I also recognize that some of the things that she gets involved with on her quest to fulfill a need to find other people as passionate for Christ as she is aren’t necessarily in line with what she has professed to believe. On the surface, they seem very similar, but they are not compatible.
If we are going to get serious about our lives, one of the first areas we need to bring into submission would be our associations. I often see new things that are supposed to be Christian popping up all over the net. I get excited when I read about people advocating that people marry, that we live as Christians every day of the week, that our lives be centered on Christ and His will, etc. When I dig deeper, however, I realize that not all the things they promote are in line with what I believe. I realize that their ministries, while outwardly similar to ministries that do line up with my beliefs, ultimately are not ministries that I feel are pleasing to God. Then there are those that I know from the outset are not in line with what I believe and which I think are wrong. I see people retweeting their sentiments, which clearly aren’t in line with the Bible or the God they say they are serving, and I feel so heartbroken that people are not taking their lives and their eternal souls more seriously.
We cannot afford to let people who aren’t going in the same direction as we are striving to go influence us to turn and follow them back into sin. Even a broken clock is right twice a day–just because you think their intentions are good or you agree with some of the things they say sometimes doesn’t mean they are going in the right direction. The devil has ministers who can appear righteous. (2 Cor. 11:3, 13-15). Even some who are in the church will lead others astry (Acts 20:29-30). We have to be careful when we let others influence us to do things that these things are in line with Christ. Many are lead astray by people putting out restrictions and rules God never gave (I Tim. 4:1-3) or not teaching the perfect word of God. Many of my friends are not rebuked when they are wrong by the people they have placed their faith in, who are supposed to be leading them to Heaven. Instead, they are taught what they want to hear of God and not confronted with what they don’t want to live up to, what God still requires of them if they are to be saved.
I think, therefore, it’s important to establish what I believe, even if it never comes up again (but it will; trust me). So, here are the highlights of what I believe:
- I believe that water baptism is for the remission (forgiveness) of sins (Acts 2:38). I don’t believe it’s an outward sin of inward grace, a confirmation of salvation, etc. It’s necessary for salvation.
- I believe that women should not be preachers, teachers, elders, or deacons (I Tim. 2:11-14). I don’t believe that this is something that was only meant for that time period, because Paul explains his reasoning for this going back to the order of creation, which has not changed and will not change. It is consistent with other teachings on women and wives in the New Testament.
- I believe there is one church (Eph. 4:4-6) established by Christ (Matt 16:18) that bears His name (Rom. 16:16).
Having stated those things which I think are the most important to make clear, I invite you to follow or not according to knowledge. I’m someone who would like to be counted among those who “searching and examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so (Acts 17:11).” I am not trying to teach men or establish my own church or ministry. I’m inviting other Christian women to exhort and edify each other, to encourage one another as we stive to perfect ourselves…and to have fun living for Christ.