It is never my goal to offend… though not everyone may agree with that… I just figured it should be said in the beginning. This post is a heartcry, not just a generic “you know what really grinds my gears…” kind of thing. I am not one to question my faith, but I am one to question how we, as His believers and disciples, operate. It has always been my heart’s desire to see His kingdom grow, to give glory back to Him, and to simply let Him use me. I also admit that not everything I do is always right and correct… However, I will say I try my hardest to learn from those experiences. Now that hopefully all of this is understood, we can continue.

I have lost friends… I have lost contact with people who were with me through hard times with family, and people who I had a lot of trust in. I hear from a few people in true randomosity, general run-ins, and of course the Facebook “Happy Birthday” posts. I can also attest that my wife has had this same thing happen, but she is more aggressive about maintaining contact with those she was closest to. How can something that professes unity be so divisive? To step back and look at the circle of friends that I currently maintain, it is amazing to see the ones who have been brought into my life to shake things up, and to have me reassess my approach to witnessing, and to thoughtful discussion.

It also flabbergasts me to hear from people who see the problems, the traditionalism that plagues the vast majority of His church, but they feel stuck where they are and can’t seem to find a way to make a difference. Then there are the discussions with those I know who admit they either lost their faith, or never had any to begin with. There are the conversations I have with them where I plead that there can be reform, and that God is alive, His Word is alive, and there is a way to see this change happen, and to let Him change us. Then there is a response… that if a church like this existed, they feel they could reconnect with God… This tears my heart wide open.

So much of Christianity has trapped itself in traditionalism, whether it be in doctrine or in practice. I am not even referring to one particular faith group right now, just a generalization. We focus on our moral high grounds rather than God’s love. We focus on getting them in our church doors for God to change them, when He can do it through relationship and conversation. A church building can not save you, nor can the people inside. Tradition will not save you. The cross is where salvation is found… only through the atoning blood of Christ. Whatever follows that in the salvation plan you adhere to MUST be the result of the atonement. Whatever that plan is, all I will say about it is make sure it aligns to what happened Biblically.

We can not continue in spiritual homicide; treating others as if they are poisoned for thinking anything differently, no matter if it is a Biblical issue or a traditional issue. We can not afford to treat sins in different levels when God has the power to wipe them all away just the same. We can not continue to claim to love everyone, but shun others, or push them off. I do not believe in a license to sin, but I do believe that grace and repentance are the first steps that can cut off the head of those sins. I JUST WANT TO SEE HIS KINGDOM FURTHERED HIS WAY, NOT OUR WAY!

What if we pursued others with the love that God pursues us with?

I originally had this post filled with scriptures… but I decided to move two to the bottom to close this out and sum up how I feel:

1 Cor 13:13 “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (NASB)

1 Cor 2:2 “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (KJV)

In Christ,

Aaron Dowen