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I’m Not One of My Followers, Either

April 7, 2015

As many locals know by now, for the last three years I have been going around knocking on doors in Milford and Everton. The reception has varied a lot; we’ve had some interesting conversations, as well as a lot of polite “no thank you’s” – and a few doors (nearly) slammed in our faces.

The most intriguing response is when people try to get rid of us by stating “We are Church of England/Catholic/Methodist”, or (as one man said recently) “I’m not one of your followers”. They seem to think a) that I’m only out to find Baptists (which I’m not), and b) that the most important thing about me is that I’m not from the same church as them – and that this is reason to maintain a safe distance between us…

This saddens me, because the most important thing about me isn’t that I’m Baptist, just as the most important thing about the Pope isn’t that he’s Catholic. If you are Anglican, you are part of the same family as me; saying “I’m Methodist” should be a declaration of unity, not separation!

And we have just celebrated the amazing events that do unite us all: the death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. If you belong to a Christian church – any Christian church! – this is the core and the foundation of your faith. If you have put your faith in the risen Jesus, then we are brothers and sisters in God’s family, regardless of what church we go to.

What worries me when people make those “separatist” comments is that they might not be aware of this. Are there really people out there who consider themselves Christians, albeit with a specific denominational label, who don’t know that the Easter events are what defines – and therefore unites – us all?

I hope not. I hope everybody knows that Christianity is all about the death and resurrection of Jesus. Paul states it bluntly: “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile” (1 Cor 15:17). If Jesus didn’t rise, it doesn’t matter whether you’re Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal or Church of England – they’re all equally pointless.

But Paul continues triumphantly: “Christ has indeed been raised from the dead!” Jesus is alive! We don’t follow denominations, we follow a living Saviour who paid for our sins and defeated death. What a reason to celebrate – whichever church you prefer to celebrate with!

HAPPY (BELATED) EASTER!

(This was published in the local Parish Magazine, April edition – I forgot to put it here before Easter!)

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From → Christianity, Faith, Jesus

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