Ten years ago, I stumbled half-alive out of fundamentalism and crash-landed in an evangelical mega church. It was like landing in a foreign country. People emoted on cue–about Jesus. They lifted these things called “holy hands” while they sang or prayed. They got all fired up about stuff like “small groups.” I watched, fascinated. I observed. I felt like such an outsider.
I didn’t speak their Christian language. I didn’t know their songs.
We read the same Bible, yes, but most of the time we thought it was saying different things.
When I was in fundamentalism, I had sort of clumped together the rest of Christianity as one, big, united group. I mean, I knew there were factions. But I didn’t know there were so many of them. Or that they all had their own dialects, pet causes, styles of dress, ideas about worship—worship. Wow. Just that word alone had so many thousands of meanings. My brain practically exploded when I realized the MASSIVE controversies surrounding Worship Music. And that there weren’t just worship leaders, there were worship pastors?
What was a worship pastor and how is that different from a pastor-pastor? I had no idea. I still don’t. I want to know more but I can’t keep up with all the new stuff that’s going on every church these days. My brain=limited space.
But here’s what made the difference: I started meeting Christians–all different kinds of them. I got to know them personally. And this is what I recognized: SPIRIT.
We shared the same spirit. It was Holy Spirit. I recognized it in others. And as soon as I saw Spirit in others, I knew all the things that seemed to divide us–or even differentiate us–were simply NOT as important as I thought they were.
Yes, my brothers and sisters sometimes drive me bonkers. Annoy me. Make me super angry. But guaranteed I do the same thing to them. We’re still related. We’re still bought with the same price.
What really matters is that Spirit unites. I love my brothers and sisters in Christ and suddenly, I am no longer an outsider. Because there had never been an outside/inside.
You love Jesus? Awesome. Let’s work together.
Let’s love together.
And that’s how the world will know us: because we love one another.