Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I Have A Weird Church

I attend and have the privilege to pastor the Cozaddale Baptist Temple.   I truly LOVE what the Lord has called and enables me to do.  I've been pondering a motto the Lord gave to me the last few days for our church:
"A 21st Century Church Just Like Your Baptist Grandfather's"
I think that would adequately apply to us, and for this, I praise the Lord.  I have intently studied our church's history, I have read about the past and spoken to to past members, I have been at the church since 1994, and I am thankful that our church, for many years has stood for the Truth.

I guess living and serving in my little world around me caused me to grow ignorant on some things.  Recently, it was said of Cozaddale Baptist Temple that:
"That church is a little weird and believes things no other churches do."  
At first, I was a little taken back, then a little upset, then a little proud, then a little convicted I was proud, I am.  It was the word "weird" that got me.  Why would any one say my church was "weird?"  I looked up the definition of weird:

"Bizarre, unnatural, unearthly."
I am good with it! Now, I know the pastor is a little weird, but I don't think that is what is meant in the statement.  The focus is on the second part of the person's statement "...believes things no other churches do."
First of all, there are plenty of churches which believe very much like we do.  Every church is going to have differences, that is part of being autonomous.  Every church should preach the Truth as the Lord teaches us in His Word.  Every pastor should teach and preach the Word of God.  Will there be differences?  Yes.  Can there be fellowship still?  Yes and no.

Yes, we can love every believer and treat every believer with respect.  No, we cannot compromise what we believe the Word teaches by ignoring Scriptural truths.  Here is the thing, for every standard our church holds, I can think of a church that has a higher standard than we do.  My daddy taught me many years ago, "Never criticize someone with a higher standard than yours."  I wish there were more daddy's like mine so I wouldn't have to write this.

Fact is, our church does hold high standards in doctrine and holiness.  Why?  We just strive to live and believe what the Word teaches.
So what makes us weird?  You know it isn't the non-denominational crowd accusing us of being weird.  The world doesn't like us, but by in large respects convictions.  It isn't other denominations that accuse us of being weird.  We have some serious doctrinal differences, but never has another denomination accused Cozaddale Baptist Temple of being weird.

So why would "the brethren" think us weird?  Why would communion, modesty, the bride of Christ, preaching a divorced person remarrying is adultery, desiring music that glorifies God and not man, only accepting baptism with authority, ordaining our own men make us weird?  Then again, it is those very things that has become bizarre to many of God's churches, they are most definitely unnatural, and certainly unearthly.

So, I suppose they are right.  I have a weird  church.  Thank God I have a weird church! If you have a weird church, you ought to praise God to!  We may be weird, but praise God we are not dead!!  Our church is growing, reproducing (planting churches), souls are being saved, buses running, academy, nursing home ministries, fellowships, community outreaches...not bad for weird church.  TO GOD BE THE GLORY! GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE!

I love my weird church!