I HAVE STRUGGLED with churches throughout my Christian journey. When I first committed my life to Jesus, I was touched by the simplicity of his invitation. It was one of welcome, acceptance, his commitment to me and the promise of finding rest in him free from life’s burdens. His words became my anchor through the many storms of my life:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
It took me a while to realise that many churches did not practise this simple message. No sooner had I accepted Jesus as my Saviour and made him Lord of my life, than a host of rules were lobbed at me. In those early years it was how I should dress, how often I went to church, whether I tithed or not and how fit I was to become a member of a particular church. Instead of the gentleness of Jesus, I was crushed with a mountain of cares that robbed me of all joy and complicated my already crumbling sense of self-worth. I needed to follow Jesus, not people.
It took memories of utter betrayal by a church leader to smash my fundamental evangelical mindset with my bigoted opinions to reveal the awesomeness of our God, the wonder of who he is and the vastness of his love for all people regardless of who we are, what denominational tag we wear, the colour of our skin or our particular gender. God is love. He loves each one of us equally. He wants the very best for us all. Now that I am out of my denominational box, there is no way I will ever be confined in that way again.
Uncluttered Faith, captures something of my journey, lessons learned along the way and thoughts about how we can grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).