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A common Salvation
I am not one to debate. It is redundant, a waste of my time, and it is really boring having to do masses of research on a topic with a simple answer, just to make a point to the debating opponent, who will keep debating with you anyhow. I just shut it all down, press ignore, or “black list”. You all know what that is, right? 😉
I have compiled a lengthy list of the many different Apostolic/Pentecostal(Oneness) organizations. Why? While reading my daily bread, early in the morning….I heard the ducks taking flight, the sounds of the bugs chirping, and a pleasant stillness in my home. A question came to mind as I was dining on the book of Proverbs, Ephesians, Jude, 1 Corinthians……..Why, are there so many Christian organizations?
I have always had this question. I may have held on to it for years. I never kept my mind on it, because it is so difficult to ask this question with scripture, without people trying to debate it, even if you include the word of God. It is one of those question/arguments that can lead to senseless debating, but I just cannot shake the question. It is like a rusty nail in my foot.
Anything that is not of Christ, is Anti-Christ…..this includes, confusion and division. We all know, and if you do not, you know now, that God says He is NOT the author of confusion: 1 Corinthians 14:33. So if Jesus is not the author, then who is? The devil.
Here is my list:
Apostolic Assemblies of Christ, Inc.
Apostolic Assembly of the Faith in Christ Jesus Inc.
Apostolic Brotherhood International
Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ Inc. (ACJC)
Apostolic Light Fellowship Inc
Apostolic World Christian Fellowship (AWCF)
Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ (ALJC)
Associated Brotherhood of Christians (ABC)
Bibleway Church World wide
Christ Apostolic Temple Inc Fellowship
Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ (COOLJC)
First church of our Lord Jesus Christ Inc
Iglesia Pentecostal Unida Hispanic Inc (IPUH)
(daily mana, October 8, 2013, Apostolic-Churches.com, http://www.apostolic-churches.com/organizations.html)
I will just end this with an ETC……..
This is not including the truck load of Protestant churches, and I hadn’t even made it through the entire Pentecostal list. Everyone of these organizations and those unlisted believes that they are on their way to Heaven and I believe it….many will make it (if they believe in the Apostolic doctrine of Christ), but it does not negate the fact that……….somebody is wrong. If this were not the case, then there would not be so many divided Christian (Apostolic Pentecostal) organizations. Or, we just turn our heads to the eeriness of not believing the same way, when we know that we should.
We will congregate together from time to time, but we will not dissolve our organizational titles and become one Apostolic/Pentecostal church. Admittedly, because we do not all believe in the same things. Are we forgetting about this scripture: Ephesians 4:5 “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism”. Oneness churches, we all believe in One Lord. We all believe in one Baptism. However, there are so many sectors to our faith.
Some believe in the veil, some do not. Some believe that women should lead, some do not. Some say it It is okay to wear pants. Some say that it is not. This list of differences is about as long as the unfinished list of Apostolic/Pentecostal organizations. It all comes down to one thing……if our Bishop or Pastor okays it, then it is right. If they are against it then it is not right. WRONG! I have heard this foolish comment, often.
I respect my leaders who rightfully divide the word of God…..as we all should. I also agree with accepting their Biblical heeds. These Godly heeds are the reason why, by the Grace of God, that my husband and I are still married. Our lives were saved….our home was saved through our Holy Ghost led leaders. However, they are not God.
At what point do we use the convictions and discernment that God has placed in us? At the point where we are looking towards other people to tell us that it is wrong or right? Do we not have the same Holy Ghost dwelling within us?
When I was a teen, I had started getting back to my Apostolic upbringing. I began wearing my veil to a non-veil wearing Pentecostal church. The looks that I got alone, were enough to make me feel like an outcast. I did not care, but it just felt strange. I knew that sooner or later, someone would approach me. That is exactly what happened.
An old woman who many saw her as one with wisdom, cornered me in the ladies restroom. She asked, already knowing and believing her own answer: “Why do you wear that head covering?” I gave her my explanation, and her response was….”If you are going to cover your head, then you might as well cover your whole body (Like the ladies from Iraq).” A few onlookers were standing around, agreeing with the elderly woman. My response was: “Why? That is not what God says.” She continued on, assuming because she was old, that her wisdom was more polished than my youth. Respectfully I listened, and when she was finished, I was quite appalled, that someone who I fellowshipped with, could show so much disdain for something that I had chosen to do because I believed in it and felt a good deal of conviction about it.
When people see you doing anything different from what they believe in, then you are no longer accepted. This flies with the church as well….even more so. You become an annoying un-washable blemish in their garments, that they tolerate. Why should I be passive aggressively pushed out of my church because of a veil on my head? I had been going to that church for such a long time, and had nowhere else to congregate. This was one of my questions that I thought about. I know why. Because that veil spoke boldly and made a very loud Biblical statement…without me saying a word, and that unintentionally offended people and made them feel uncomfortable. Shortly after I began wearing my veil, I did in fact feel very out of place. God was shifting my life.
Fast-forwarding to present day. My husband, son and I were at a lovely Pentecostal church. The people were friendly and caring, and God was in the atmosphere. I had my veil on, after quite some time of not wearing it. My husband use to ask me; “Why did you stop wearing your veil?” My response was; “because I don’t want to stir up trouble with folks or have to keep explaining myself.” His response was; “You shouldn’t care.” He was right.
A sister approached my husband and I and talked with us. We gave her a briefing of where we came from. She then felt like I needed to know why we DO NOT wear the veil. She says: “We don’t wear the veil because in the Bible it says that our hair is our covering….ETCETERA……ETCETERA….ETCETERA. After her initial greeting statement, my mind went into the Charlie Brown….(WOMP WOMP WOMP WOMP WOMP WOMP) and concluded with the Napoleon Dynamite sigh: (Huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh). When I came to, I almost slipped at the tongue and asked; “What is your point?”
After this, we talked but never really had much in common. We should have if we serve the same God.
These differences have divided and placed a silent war between God’s people. We show it by having so many different organizations with so many different beliefs and political stances that have NOTHING to do with God, but rather with dynasty and popularity. We think God does not notice this? I understand now, why we are going to make it to Heaven by the skin of our teeth. We are barely making it!
1 Peter 4:18 “And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
Do not think that my writing is your excuse or reason for not going to church, it is not even mine. Regardless of these shortcomings that we all have, we need to be in fellowship with one another….being uplifted by the testimonies of the Saints of God, and hearing preaching from sound doctrine. These are things that help us endure to the end, in this race.
God already knew our state before we even made it here. Thank You Jesus for Your forgiveness, grace and mercy, but still this is no excuse to not make it right. We are responsible for our own salvation. I love being Apostolic/Pentecostal because this is who God made me to be through his Holy teachings, no matter how aggravating things can become. When things become questionable, I just ask, and trust that God will lead me to the truth. The Apostolic doctrine is the one and only doctrine of Christ, that will carry us to Heaven. If you do not believe this, please read the Bible. Acts 2:38 (but read Acts 2 entirely.)