Today my church voted to end it’s affiliation with the Assemblies of God (AOG) for various differences of opinion. While none of it was based on any doctrinal reasons, there was some very substantial changes that the AOG made that my church decided that they could no longer agree to walk with them on. But what was the most amazing part of this all was that our senior pastor, who has a long history with the AOG, as a result of this will be put on a “dismissal list” that is supposed to be used only for pastor’s who have fallen into some kind of unrepentant or grievous sexual sin, or pastor’s who were involved in embezzlement from the church. Even though he did none of these things asked our church to not say anything bad about the AOG. What a show of grace and humility those in attendance saw tonight from him.
As he closed out the meeting tonight he gave us all the bookmark that you see to your left. And he also gave everyone a blank business card that he asked each one of us to print our name on one side and then sign our name on the other side, as a sign of our decision to make this declaration of dependence with the church. What a powerful moment it was. You can see the pic of all the card on the stage at the top. As I went down to place my card on the stage and walked by Randy and had so much I wanted to say to him, like how much I appreciated his heart and how glad I was to be apart of Rockpointe, but the words just escaped me and I only shook his hand and gave him a hug. Then as I looked down upon that scene, I was moved.
Then the executive pastor got up and read a portion of Scripture that I have heard him read for the 3rd time in a month. Some people say that when you get something 3 times like that, it is God’s way of trying to get your attention. And, Rick, it is beginning to haunt me and not just cause I have heard you read it 3 times recently. The verse is John 17:20-23 and it is a portion of a prayer by Jesus…..
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
He was praying for us, for me. That is amazing and humbling to think about. The other part of this that is extremely humbling and challenging is the aspect that we (the Christian church) are supposed to be united as one, and by that the world will know God. And we Christians often wonder why there seems to be this mass exodus from the church. We have been so busy fighting with one another of some very stupid doctrinal issues that we failed to be as one and we have hurt the cause of Christ.
My church is now a non-denominational church and while we are not opposed to denominations, we are opposed to the disunity that they can bring when they highlight our difference rather than the bonds that unite us. I call for the Christian churches of the world to lay down our arms and start working together for the common good of seeing lives turned over to God.