Steve Ridenour Ministries

Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone." Mark 16:15

It's All About Jesus

I guess one of the things that really has me dumbfounded is the attitudes among the varying groups of religious organizations in our small town.  You notice that I didn't refer to these organizations as churches…bear with me as I vent some frustration, it's early, and I am still working on my first cup of coffee.

According to the Church Directory in our local newspaper, my hometown has in the neighborhood of 30 churches in our wonderful little community.  Great, but unfortunately along with these 30 churches of varying denomination, come nearly 30 different attitudes of what Christianity is all about.  It seems that nearly every church (I didn't say all churches) maintains an attitude of independence, an attitude of self, an attitude of, well I could go on and on.  Remember, I'm venting.

A few years ago in the Clergy Column of our local newspaper, Brother Jimmy Hisel of the Sandia First Baptist church wrote an excellent article about the Ministerial Alliance, and the participation by some of the local pastors and ministers.  He made reference to a 1963 “Baptist Faith and Message” article.  I think this one sentence reference is so important to all people that claim to be Christians, and to all pastors of Christian churches, and to all ministers of Christian doctrine and faith, that I am going to repeat it.

“Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is justified, and when such cooperation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His Word as revealed in the New Testament.” What a powerful concept; Cooperation between the various Christian denominations.  Well guess what - it isn't just a concept.

Cooperation is a subject that is referred to often in scripture.  It is wonderfully explained in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 9Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor.  10If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.  But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble.  11And on a cold night, two under the same blanket can gain warmth from each other.  But how can one be warm alone?  12A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.  Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.  NLT Brother Ralph Schlarb, one time pastor of Harmony Assembly of God in Mathis, Texas brought a message of unity to a For Him Ministries praise and worship event.  The message Brother Schlarb brought was not a message of ecumenicalism.  The message basically said that the city of Mathis was in need of prayer, and that the churches, pastors, and congregations needed to set aside denominational differences, and be united in the name of Jesus Christ for the sake of our city.  He did not suggest that we unite as a one-world religion; he very clearly explained that there would always be denominations, and that these denominations would not always be in agreement about everything.

While I claim no denominational preference, I am not trying to bash any Christian denomination.  In the name of Jesus, I love each and every one of you Christians, even if we are different denominationally.  You see I simply refuse to let religion get in the way of my Christianity.  I refuse to let religion get in the way of what Jesus Christ has called me to do, to go out and do my part to fulfill the “Great Commission”.

So now I appeal to each and every Pastor of each and every Christian church to set aside their denominational differences, and join forces with each other in the name of Jesus to reach the lost.  Get active with Christian Pastoral activities such as the Ministerial Alliance.  Be a part of this year's Holy Week activities.  Be active with other ministers and pastors.

We are all united in the name of Jesus.  It is only through the Blood of Jesus, not denomination, that we are saved.  It is only by Jesus' dying on the cross and resurrection, not denomination, that we are able to have fellowship with our Lord.

Excuse me while I get another cup of coffee.  God's peace to you all.

Now if you are reading this article and you haven't yet asked Jesus Christ into your life, please don't hesitate any longer, today can be the day of your salvation.  Pray this prayer and come into the family of God.

Dear Heavenly Father, I come to You in the name of Jesus Christ, the Name above every name.  I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and confess unto You that I am a sinner.  I ask You to forgive my sins and to come into my heart.  In Your forgiveness I am washed clean of my sins, by the shed blood of Jesus.  I have become a new creation in Christ and an eternal member of the FAMILY OF GOD.  I thank you for my new birth in the wonderful Name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Copyright 2002 - 2010 Steven R.  Ridenour