Multi-Tribal Church

I'm doing some planning of some upcoming and future teaching series at the Java Roasting Cafe, finding myself in random conversations about politics, the weather, American Idol, 80s music and Jesus... like ya do.  Then this question comes up that I've been asked more times than I care to count: "What's the difference between your church and the Baptists?"

My response?  "Exactly!"

OK, before I get nailed for my infamous answers that aren't really answers, let me unpack that a little bit.

My point is "what is the difference... really?"  I think a better question is "How are we alike?"  I've found myself caught up a bit lately in using terms like, "Our tribe" and "Your tribe" and "Their tribe" and to be fair, there are of course some differences.  But why do we have to let the differences define us?  When did things like baptism methods, expression of spiritual gifts, how we define "Sabbath", and what we think is going to happen during "end times" become the main thing? 

How many churches are there?  How many flocks is Jesus the Shepherd of?  How many bodies of Christ are there?  How many "Brides" does Jesus have?  Is it a Kingdom of God, or are there Kingdoms?

Jesus is LORD and the grave is empty!  Do we agree on that?  Is so, then what's the difference?

One of my favorite things about Oaklawn Church of God (besides the amazing pot-luck dinners) is that we are a family that is actually a non-denominational Assembly-of-the-Catholic-Baptist-Methodist-Lutheran-Wesleyan-Nazarene-Pentecostal-Christian-Church-of-God!  ...and I probably just left out a whole bunch of folks!  I like the term "non-denominational" but maybe "denominationally challenged" is a better way of describing our Multi-Tribe.


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