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    Church Mutt (On Diversity in the Church)

    November 5, 2010

    I once heard the darling Margaret Feinberg refer to herself as a “church mutt.” I can relate. My parents gave me a full range of church experience—dragging me off to “revival” meetings where I grew up in the south, and to conferences and vacation Bible schools  everywhere and any time the doors were open. As a result, I feel at home with any Bible-believing group of people. I am not denominationally pedigreed.

    I am a church mutt.

    I am part reformed. I can sniff out faulty theology from a mile away. I like to chew on the pure Word. It’s the Gosssspel of Christ!

    I am part emergent. I am an artsy, hip, organic, raw, authentic, poverty-fighting, justice-loving, earth-tending follower of Christ. Dude.

    I am part Charismatic. I’ve tabernacled, harp-and-bowled, danced undignified, and traded my sorrows at the river and in the vineyard. I know about “soaking” at IHOP, and if “courtesy drops” count, I’ve been slain in the spirit twice.

    I am part black gospel. I spent much of my childhood attending a mostly black Pentecostal church. I know how to get all dressed up, get all excited, go tell everybody that Jesus Christ is Lord. HalleLUjah!

    I’m part independent.  I’m willing to raise the standard, be holy, walk uprightly, come out from among them, stay in fellowship, submit to leadership, be loyal and be sweet.

    I’m part southern gospel. I like to talk, sing and think about Heaven and fried chicken, not nec’arily in that order. Y’all pray for me now, ya hear?

    I’m part denominational. I know how to tithe, fill out the card, recite the creed, sing the hymns (how I love the hymns!), read the bulletin, pray for the missionary, update the building and eat a harvest turkey dinner a week before Thanksgiving.  I admit to liking a few Jack Chick tracts.

    I’m part Quaker.  (Pause here for an hour of silence.)

    I’m part Catholic. I value suffering and caring of the poor. I love quietness and solitude, sacred places, reverence, stained glass windows, and big families with mannerly kids.

    I’m part Messianic Jewish. I like to dance “like David danced” and pray for Israel. I almost passed out trying to blow a shofar once (I’m sticking to the tambourine.). I love a good leg of lamb roasted with fresh rosemary and garlic at Passover.

    I’m part home-church (yes, that’s a denomination). I’ve been Shack-ed and told He Loves Me.  I’ve been religiously de-toxed, de-institutionalized, de-systemized, de-programmed and de-organized, and I’ve gained twenty pounds on  pot luck dinners alone.

    I am part word-faith. I might have a tiny (gulp) Osteen gene in my body somewhere. I am blessed. So blessed. So very, very blessed. I do confess.

    I’m  even small part Seventh-Day Adventist; I like my veggies, whole grains and natural sugar substitutes. But don’t take away my “sundae’s” (wink).

    I don’t agree with all that’s represented by the aforementioned neighborhoods of Christ’s Church, but none-the-less, many members thereof are Heaven’s blood-bought future residents. Take a look at the following list of just a few of them. Before you make your celestial reservation, check to see if you would mind living next door to any of the following people for eternity (I must admit, I was disturbed by what feelings surfaced in my own heart as I typed some of these names.):

    ~Joyce Meyer~John MacArthur~John Bevere~T.D.Jakes~Beth Moore~Charles Stanley~Rick Warren~Rick Joyner~Mike Bickle~NT Wright~Cindy Jacobs~Luis Palaw~Bill Bright~Nancy Leigh DeMoss~Chuck Colson~Loren Cunningham~Heidi Baker~James MacDonald~Darlene Zcsech~Bill Johnson~Matt Chandler~Rod Parsley~David Wilkerson~Margaret Feinberg~Creflo Dollar~Chuck Smith~Peter Wagner~Paul Yonggi Cho~Bill Hybel~Ray Comfort~James Dobson~Francis Chan~and my personal favorite, Tim Keller.

    “There is one body and one Spirit…one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” –Eph. 4:4-6

    6 thoughts on “Church Mutt (On Diversity in the Church)

    1. you are invited to follow my blog

    2. j frost says:

      Well, Faith, I am not certain I want to live next to any of those, but I do think I’d like you for a neighbor!

      I can relate to a number of these churches. We started out with AG, and then dad pastored a community pentecostal church. That was followed by a community full-gospel…after which we attended and became a part of United Methodists. Then I went to Elim and became truly messed up with pentecostal/full-gospel/early charismatic. And it goes on… But then I think many folks have similar histories….well, except for my friends that stayed in the Catholic or Episcopal or Presbyterian. Oh yeah, the Southern Baptists.
      I think we’ve visited just about all of them out there over the years. The Greek Orthodox was probably the most interesting. But I am also of the mind that I like the personal level of the home church all the while enjoying some of the history that comes down through the ages in the liturgy of the very traditional.

      So…while I may chaff at the idea of living next door to some of the names you have mentioned, I probably wouldn’t move away just because they came in. But I’d be more neighborly with folks on your level…sad, isn’t it?

    3. Diane says:

      Hey Faith..I love mutts, they’re my favorite breed so I’m soooo very glad you are one ’cause I am too 🙂

    4. Anonymous says:

      it irks me when anonymous folks ruin it for the rest of us… pay no mind to that.

      now, thanks for sharing some of the wealth of your background and experience, specifically some new names to cogitate upon and research.

      i like your muttly approach, works for genetics, and i’d like to think there is a place for it with Believers. i have a theory that we all have a piece of the puzzle, and need one another to work towards completing it…

      besides, who knew you were up to those things then in our little old hometown, and later. please keep sharing your ride, so many of us didn’t have the wealth of exposure you bring! : ) bless your folks.

    5. Faith says:

      Anon–whoever are you??…”our little old hometown”… Cocoa? I’m clueless, which was your intent, I guess. 🙂 Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and thanks for the comment.

    6. Anonymous says:

      Do I agree with you? ….. Partly.

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