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Thursday, June 23, 2011
Feel Like a Square Peg Crammed into a Round Hole?
Many don’t go to any church nowadays. Less than half of the population of the USA is found in church on any given Sunday, even less than that claim membership to a particular church or denomination. For many they see religion as an attempt for them to be “fit” into a mold they simply are not interested in or believe in.
Who is interested in being the square peg that a religious group is trying to make fit into a round hole?
When you take the simple message of Jesus, “Love God with all of who you are—mind, soul, body & strength, and love your neighbor as yourself,” then add on conditions, or “explanations” of what that entails, you have the beginnings of religious rules that attempt to make us all a cookie cutter form of whatever image that particular religion views as “godly.” Try getting all of the various religious folks together and ask them to agree on their rules—wow, good luck with that! The old saying I know to ring true is, wherever there are two Christians gathered there are three opinions.
Here’s the deal for this simple preacher. At Shiloh’s Lighthouse we operate as a Community of Faith & Love. We are not a “church” or denominationally bound; if you want to get technical we are non-denominational. I see people more like Jell-O Jigglers (the non-alcoholic kind of course!)
We come in all shapes sizes, colors and genders. None are perfect; all of us are on a journey toward eternity, one that I believe Jesus died on a cross for, so that we all could experience that eternity with Him in heaven. Since we are all different in so many ways I like to see people as far more Jell-O-ish rather than attempt to make everyone fit into a religious one-size-fits-all mold. No. don’t try to read into this some goofy “many paths” religious nonsense—John 14:6 for me all day, folks. What I am saying is that since we are all different, yet wonderfully made by the same awesome God, it is not my job to make any person “fit.” into my idea of what a Christian is. My job as a Pastor is to share the truth of who Jesus is—with open arms to all people, welcome them into our Community of Faith & Love, and afford them every opportunity to find the joy and freedom found in a personal relationship with Jesus.
Yes, I will do my part to help you with your personal life issues, as will the others in our fellowship. What I will not do is try to make you conform to an image I have of you; rather I will challenge you to know Jesus in such a real way that He will transform you as your faith and relationship with Him grows.
My question and challenge to all who are part of Shiloh’s Lighthouse is this. What part do you play in helping make Saginaw a better place?Together we can make a difference in the lives of our neighbors here in Saginaw. My offer to you who are reading this who think the ceiling of a church may fall in on you if you were to enter, or that you would be judged and rejected so why even bother going … come visit Shiloh’s Lighthouse and see what it means to be free to be who you were created to be while helping your neighbor and making a real difference at the same time. Here you will find a true oasis of faith and love where you can enjoy discovering who God created you to be while helping others do the same. Whatever your “shape” you are welcome. I promise, no religious hammers here, but I may put a rake or shovel in your hand as we go and help a neighbor.
Keep the Faith ... PD
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