Perhaps, you are reading this because you are highly intrigued with the title of this article. On the contrary, I wrote this article to discuss the reality of how some people think about denomination and about Christianity.
Before I start, I would like to make my statement: My allegiance is with Christ and not on my denomination. Sound interesting isn’t it? But this is a challenge that I want to point out to people who have been very critical and wrongly accusing me of departing from being a Southern Baptist and especially to people who are worshipping their denomination. My reaction? Laugh out loud. Sorry guys, but my allegiance is with Christ and not on my denomination, I’m not sure where’s yours.
There are many pastors these days who have been more focused on their denomination. But should it really be our denomination be lifted up above Christ? When we do Bible study, do we introduce ourselves with the brand of our denomination or we let other people know that we are simply. Christians?
When Jesus himself said: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:35-36. Jesus did not say, “so that you will be known as Southern Baptist.”
I know I know, some of you will certainly react on this. And that’s the reason why some pastors are trying to make stories that I am no longer a Southern Baptist. But then again, I would like to ask if who’s lost, a pastor who preaches Christ, or a pastor who preaches his denomination? There is a big difference between the two.
A pastor who preaches Christ is a pastor who follows the Bible. A pastor who preaches his denomination is a pastor who works within the boundaries of his denomination. Who are you then? Revelation 2:4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.
This is just a simple truth. There are tons of pastors across the globe that is literally lost because of their denominational identity. If for the sake of being a Southern Baptist, I would probably be one of those people who will be given a loyalty award just like those students who have been a student of the same school from elementary to college. We are already in Southern Baptist when I was born. My family’s home church is University Baptist Church in Morayta, Manila when I was born, my sending church to seminary was a Southern Baptist; my home church in both Manila and in Leyte are Southern Baptists; I graduated from Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary which is a Southern Baptist Seminary.
But should these credentials be my basis of being a Christian? The answer is obviously no. I am a Christian because I have Christ, I am a believer and I am a follower of Christ. Rereading my Bible tells me that my first love should be Christ, that I should be known as Christ disciple by loving others.
I am not saying that denominations are bad. No. Absolutely no. I believe that denominations are good and it helps us in many ways, identity, corporate discipleship, corporate work, and many other things. But it should never precede our loyalty to Christ.
So Ptr. Vince do you admit that you are no longer a Southern Baptist? My answer is very simple, if you think that by doing God’s will and putting my allegiance to Christ first and foremost makes me lose my denomination, then I would rather lose it. On the other hand, if you think that I am doing the right thing just like any other Christians should do, then I am still a Southern Baptist.
My advice, don’t be a denominational addict. It will lead you to nowhere.
What are your thoughts?