It always amazes me of how God deals with each person in their own way. The destination is always the same, but the journey is very unique. And in each of us, there are all sorts of different gifts/talents/abilities. Sometimes it seems like everyone either plays guitar or piano. My mom always wanted me to learn piano… I ended up learned the drums. The other night while at an all night prayer meeting (of which I made it until about 3 am or so), we were at a location that uses some resources of a particular ministry that I don’t necessarily prefer. None the less, hopefully someone is able to still meet God in some form or fashion. There are God given gifts (Rom. 12:3-8), Jesus given gifts (Eph. 4:11) and Holy Spirit given gifts (1 Cor. 12:7-11).
Right now, the ‘church’ is undergoing a major transformation. People are just looking for more. They’re tired of meetings… they’re looking for true relationship and true fellowship. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong w/ meetings. A corporate gather has it’s time and place. But Christianity is about a relationship. A relationship between you and God, you and other believers and you and the world. Some folks won’t even SAY the name of God because they feel it’s not reverent enough for them. And that’s fine per say. It does bother me some when some people are wearing ball caps in a corporate gathering. Especially when that cap has NOTHING to do with God. But I usually let it slide, although I would prefer them take it off at the time. Just like it’s polite to take your hat off when your praying OR during the national anthem. It’s just something done out of reverence for a particular time. So in that aspect, I can understand a little why some may not feel comfortable in saying or printing the name of God or other aspects of His Divine nature.
I for one did not grow up saying Mr. or Ms. and the person’s first name. But when living in the south and parents are trying to train their kids to address me properly, they throw in the Mr. Shawn (for the record, I personally don’t like it). I grew up calling my religious leaders by their first names. Respect is a position of the heart, not just in a title. In my talking with them, my respect and given and shown. And most leaders nowadays just introduce themselves by their first names anyways. So, needless to say, it gets confusing at times. I personally don’t want those of whom I’m ministering to not looking at me because their trying to be respectful. I want to make eye contact with people and show them that they matter to me. I love it whenever people I’m friends with come up and give me a hug.
I’ve personally found over time that the more love you have for someone, respect and reverence comes automatically. But all this to say that I see a different way of the church learning to ‘fight’ a battle: in the Spirit, in a position of son ship, knowing our full authority which is as a child of God. I’m not talking about just having proper theology (which is important), but it’s out a love relationship you have with Jesus.
It’s like there is a difference between saying “I don’t want to watch that particular movie or engage in that particular behavior because of these reasons” and “I can’t watch this particular movie or participate in this particular behavior because my church doesn’t allow it.” The first one is moreso addressing that fact that YOU as someone who is in a relationship with the Lord and knowing it will hurt that relationship that you don’t want to engage in a particular behavior. The second one is rules and laws put on by someone else. I just spent a couple days at a local apologetics conference, listening to various messages about defending the Christian faith. That’s good and well, but sometimes it’s like if you can be argued into the kingdom of God, there is probably a good chance you can be argued out of it.
If you look in the Old Testament, the Israelites were given rules via Moses from God to not engage in certain activities. If you look in the New Testament, Jesus starts to make it more relational. He wants to examine the heart of the person and their motives. That’s because He wants the relationship with the person more than just a list of do’s and don’ts.
One of the most impactful things that has happened for me was to experience the presence and love of God for myself. When you experience God, there is something that happens that goes beyond comprehension. Mere seconds in the presence of Abba Father can do what listening to hours and hours of sermons will never be able to accomplish. Why is it that whenever a child is hurt, the first thing they do is run into the arms of their parents or someone they know loves them?