This weekend a friend of mine Jon Straker spoke at the Good Friday meeting in Toronto (a gathering of Churches of Christ) and he spoke about redefining the borders of our faith. This message encouraged many, challenged some, and offended a few. It was a wonderful call to cast off what we have long claimed to have never carried: denominational teaching.
When we define who is in and who is out we are defining a denomination (by definition). If we can’t hear a talk by a brother or sister in Christ because they attended the Shalem Institute we are defining who is in and who is out: who is forgiven and who is not. We are carrying on the human tradition of defining morality; defining who is compliant with the commands of God. You are turning the law of Christ back into a Law which cannot save (Gal 5) it cannot justify (Rom 3:20), it cannot give life (Rom 7: 5-9)
I got home from church on Sunday from our Resurrection Sunday service just in time to see (one of my favourite friends I’ve never met) Pastor Mark Driscoll preach at Mars Hill’s Easter Celebration. They rented the QWest field in Seattle and had 17, 500 people attend a worship service. He preached a classic gospel message titled “Who is Jesus Christ?” Classic gospel preaching. Over 700 people were baptized.
Read his notes here or watch the sermon below and tell me that he isn’t taking his Bible straight. The last line of his notes says it all: “Repent and be baptized” Acts 2: 38. That’s the CofC theme verse! The funny thing is he is more CofC than some of my colleagues are.
When we are trying to prove we are the right tribe, Jesus has left the building. We are busy answering questions no one is asking. What should non-denominational Christianity be about? Jesus. That’s it. Nothing else. Jesus and salvation in His name. Nothing. Else.