My youngest son and I were having fun discussing the way I view myself religiously. Since I had been a Presbyterian for almost all of my 54 years, and had only been a Baptist these last four years, I proudly proclaimed that I am a PreBap.
The truth is I am a follower of Jesus Christ.
My Presbyterian views on Christianity are still a strong influence in how I live my life. So why become a Baptist? When we moved to Fulshear, Texas, my husband had already visited River Bend Baptist and liked the people. They are warm and welcoming. Our youngest son, still in his teenage years, loved the youth group and their Youth Pastor. Decision made. Because when your kid enjoys a church, you can be sure they will attend.
Some of the Baptist traditions were foreign to me at first, like no Ash Wednesday and Lent season. I depend on the Lent season to usher in my new year on Easter Sunday. It is like a spring cleaning for my soul. I only went one year without Lent, and have now returned to my Lent traditions. This year, I gave up Facebook and my writing productivity is up 1000%. When I do take FaceBook back up after Easter, it will be only a once a day glance. To check birthdays and see if anyone is in the need of prayer. No more phone notifications either.
See what I mean about a spring cleaning for my soul.
I think that we have to be very careful, as Christians, about putting an identity moniker around our necks. I want to be known as a follower of Jesus Christ, a servant of God, and a listener to the Holy Spirit. Because that is where true freedom is found in the grace of Jesus Christ. And just because God told Adam, he had to name all of the animals, we do not have to continue placing label on top of label.
We silly humans can over complicate the simple in life!
Be sure your children know they are Christians first and not Baptist, Presbyterian, or even Catholic first. If we erase these identity lines which separate us from each other, subsequently separating us from Christ, we might find racism to be erased also. I also believe it is a church’s responsibility not to promote the line of division between each other. For isn’t that judging, and a part of racist profiling? Two of the things that followers of Christ are told not to do.
Listen carefully to the words of Jesus Christ…
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” John 15:16-17
He chose us! He chose to love and save us! We are to go out each day and show the people we are followers of Christ by our actions. And we do this by loving one another. There are so many statements made by Jesus and the only identifying moniker we are to wear is the one which states we are followers of Christ.
So think about it, what moniker do you wear? Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian or a follower of the one who chose you, Jesus Christ?
God Bless You!
God Bless America!