This morning was one of those glorious uncomfortable mornings. I mean, the type of morning when you decide to step out of your comfort zone – intentionally – and stretch your spiritual boundaries. Let me explain further.
I was asked to visit, once again, the local gathering of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International. I have attended these meetings a few times and shared my personal testimony with them at one of their anniversary meetings several months ago. I have some friends, brothers in Christ, who serve in this ministry fellowship and I admire them for their faith and dedication to it.
This particular group of believers is made up of people from various denominations and backgrounds. Many of them are Internationals, so that always catches my attention. For most of my life in ministry, I have felt very comfortable with brothers and sisters from different cultures and nationalities. It is a good thing to get to know people who are not just like you are. After all, what do you think heaven will be like?
So, as a Baptist man, committed to my core values, how should I react to believers from different denominational backgrounds? Well, if we are brothers, we are part of the same eternal family. We may have different views on how the gifts of the Spirit are manifested, but we all believe the Spirit gives gifts. As a missionary who has served in many different contexts… spiritual, cultural, and otherwise, I have learned to hold fast to my core beliefs AND keep an open mind to the diverse ways that some of my brethren embrace their spiritual gifts.
Just this morning, I would say that I was blessed greatly by the vast majority of the experience that I had with my friends at FGBMFI. I heard an awesome testimony from a doctor who has an office in my hometown. She is originally from Haiti and has established a pediatric medical practice in Humboldt, serving our citizens with compassion and care. Later, I listened to Pastor Philip from Memphis who was also an immigrant, from Africa, and now ministers to people through House on the Rock.
Yes, it was a good morning and I encourage you to be sure of your core spiritual beliefs / values and stretch yourself. Do not put-up walls strictly for the sake of maintaining religious tradition. Seek God’s direction for your life and never be afraid to ask “why” things are the way they are in your oikos. Explore, but do it with love and kindness. I hope this little rambling article meant something to you. God bless you and walk in Him with an open mind and heart… amen.