The Mosaic of the Church

A blue mosaic with the stars and moon

I got into an interesting discussion with one of my Orthodox friends about the intercession of the saints. As an Adventist, I believe we will be resurrected with our bodies and go into soul sleep when we die. I came from the Pentecostal faith before this, so I am still wrapping my head around some of these beliefs. In the past, I generally would have tried to educate her on the ‘right’ theology because my previous church raised me to have debates and win them. Now that I’ve become more laid back, I know either of us could be correct.

I ended up telling my friend I’m still learning more about Adventism and that we believe in soul sleep. I didn’t say she was wrong – I just stated I think differently. We are still friends, and I enjoy her point of view on life.

I have changed a lot.

Now, I’ve ventured a bit into post-denominationalism, which states everyone must meet in the middle. Unfortunately, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are the only thing left out of that theology. If there is one thing that isn’t met in the middle, what’s the point? Do they have the right idea about meeting in the middle? What can be left in the middle, and what must we agree on? This is a tricky little see-saw.

A pair of people shaking hands

What to Agree On?

How can so many denominations claim the Bible is the Word of God and believe so many different things? It can be difficult to navigate all these interpretations, but most of them keep important stuff the same (such as what is required for salvation and what separates us from God tend to be running themes). It’s the interpretation of those themes that start to divide denominations, such as how hard one goes into the law vs. the spirit of the law.

It kind of boils down to this: we’ll sin every day. God doesn’t want us to, but it’s the realization that something is taking us away from Him that allows us to repent. If we stay in a state of vigilance and start to realize what causes separation from Him, then that’s the state He prefers us in. It could be something as serious as having an affair, or something less serious, such as being addicted to video games and not giving God the time of day.

My denomination observes dietary laws, and though you can make an argument for every meat being okay now in the New Testament, it’s just healthier not to eat it (in my opinion). Most unclean animals don’t have the greatest diets, and I don’t want their mess in my system.

Here’s the flip side: If the Bible says something is a sin even if you don’t see the separation, don’t do it. There are many “pagan meat” issues out there, and Paul warns about being led into sin. If your actions cause someone to stumble, don’t do it in their presence.

A blue mosaic

The Church is Like a Mosaic

Imagine us as a bunch of broken pieces in this body of Christ. There isn’t anyone who doesn’t need improvement. We get pressed into this picture of Christ, but the entire piece is different visions of what Christ is. This makes Christendom as we know it. Some people try to chip out pieces because they are doing something wrong, but feel they have scriptural backing. Others try to place their piece in art that doesn’t fit them.

Tiles separate, but some are glued together with our relationships with the other pieces on the floor. Sin separates us from this vision, taking a chisel to our piece and turning parts of it into unusable dust.

Our lives affect the tiles that are closest to us. Sometimes our faith doesn’t have them in the same picture as us. The kicker is that no matter where you are placed, you came from the same pile of tiles. This pile is where everyone starts. Sometimes people are around the mosaic but find themselves still in a pile because they don’t surrender themselves to the Artist.

In the end, all the pieces will either be turned to dust or placed into the work the Lord has set out to do. We see bits and parts of what the finished thing will look like through acting in love and sticking to our community. This is why it’s so important to share what we see with those in the pile so they may become a part of the whole before it’s too late.

Coming Together

I felt like I didn’t need the church for many years. It took me a long time to realize there was a difference between the church and religion. The church is people. Religion is what people follow to understand Christ. If you can see this fact, even if the people hurt you, then you can start to put yourself in their shoes. People can be foolish. So can you.

Discovering common ground and recognizing the shared values that transcend religious differences can lead us to a profound sense of connection with Jesus himself.

Morgue

An eccentric adventurer and writer, Sarah has done everything from American Idol to Professional Wrestling. Having been a gamer all of her life, she has a lot to say about the subject and hopes to give her knowledge to others.

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