There are many subsets of allegiances within Christian devotion and living. Not bad in itself. We need planted somewhere or we will self destroy through proud independence and end up suffering from the self righteous, angry, rejected prophet delusion. However, never let your devotion to someone or a group, their teaching, their literature or their leaders dead or alive be greater than attentiveness of the ear that listens for the voice of Christ, the Shepherd of the whole flock, and His Spirit speaking through Scripture. If you allow that balance to settle in the wrong direction you are effectively a member of a cult and may miss the truest calling of Christ upon your love and service.
Be grateful but not blindly loyal to any body of literature ancient or modern, any theological system no matter how biblical and revered its devotee may claim it to be, any body of discipleship local or widespread, any leader dead or alive where help, love, life and guidance have been experienced. If a buy in is demanded that smacks of exclusivity or slight or overt superiority towards other approaches to Christian living, service and discipleship, it is time to look elsewhere and listen to the Spirit’s lack of peace within.
“Call no man Father” is teaching from Jesus we need to heed. It is a terribly inconvenient word for those who want a following and want to establish something new with their name attached to it…
Born to Catholic parents, attended about 20 years but never could accept that the Pope is infallible or that it is a ‘mortal sin’ (same level as murder) to miss Mass on Sunday.
After two to three years, found my way to a Church of England congregation but never got a full foundation of truth. But I learned Jesus was coming back sometime and that we have to become Christians. Spent twenty years attending that church.
Moved back to Scotland, found my way to a charismatic independent little church where Bible School provided a much firmer grounding in truth. Ignored anything that seemed not to fit with scripture.
Then to an independent Baptist congregation in the USA where much that I knew was truth in scripture was denied, not permitted. But the Lord led me to witness in His timing so that the gifts of the Spirit were no longer taboo.
Back to Scotland, first to a handy Church of Scotland where I received much help and learned to recognise specific weaknesses and strengths. It was for a short season only, as the Lord made clear from the start.
And now in a church that has members whose beliefs are totally shaped by Brethren tradition. But there is truth and opportunity for growth, and for practising acceptance of others and patience as they begin to be touched by scriptural truth preached and taught.
If the Lord leads us to a specific church in spite of obvious weaknesses in doctrine, who are we to butt in and force change or to go somewhere more ‘spiritual’?