Following doctrines & dogma what does it look like? Today we are going to examine how we translate doctrine & dogmas relationally here in CCM. Translation in it's simplest form is how we apply the doctrines & dogma that we hold dear to our hearts when it comes to being in relationship with others in the body of Christ. This all works out in three words, Love, Acceptance, & Forgiveness. Hope you what Pastor Gerald has to say on this awesome subject.
Foundations Material - Love, Acceptance, & Forgiveness - Pastor Gerald Martin
Love, Acceptance, and Forgiveness
As a church that tries to function above denominational barriers our goal is to be dogmatic in matters of Scriptural dogma, to extend grace in matters of doctrinal differences and to give freedom in areas of personal opinion or preferences.We have adopted this as our philosophy of ministry that can be summarized in the three words, love, acceptance and forgiveness. I believe these three words describe every church that sincerely acknowledges Jesus as Lord.
Love is often misunderstood in our society. It is more than a warm fuzzy feeling one might have for another person. Love is an action.God loved us so much that He gave His only Son. True love is described in I Corinthians 13 as patient, kind, not jealous, doesn’t brag, get provoked, become arrogant, doesn’t seek it’s own way or take into account a wrong suffered, rejoices with the truth, bears, hopes and endures all things and never fails. The only way we can demonstrate this kind of love is to truly make Jesus Lord in our lives. Then and only then can we see and relate to people as He did.
Acceptance is love in action toward sinners.Jesus provides a strong example for us. Of all the people he related to sinners seemed most comfortable in His presence. You would think it would have been the good religious people. But no, it was the sinners. He accepted them where they were and ministered to their need. Religious people tend to look down their noses at those who may not measure up or who have made a mess of their lives. Jesus looks at them as sheep without a shepherd in need of a savior. If Jesus is truly Lord we can do no less. Someone has said the church is not to be a museum for saints but a hospital for sinners. My Greek professor in college told us in class one day that every church should have a sign over the front door that reads, “For Sinners Only.”
Forgiveness is simply releasing another from our own personal judgment.When we judge another we set ourselves up as God for that person. We have no right to do that. In fact when we do that we place ourselves in grave danger because according to the Bible we will come under the same judgment ourselves. Jesus did not have a condescending attitude toward sinners. He loved them and was able to see beyond their sin.
Some years ago I went to the dentist. Before he laid me back in the chair to work on my teeth he related a story I still treasure in my heart. A man had come in not long before who in his words didn’t look like the usual church going kind of guy. In their conversation he discovered that he attended Cornerstone. The dentist was curious and asked him what it was about Cornerstone that he liked. The man thought for a moment and simply said, “they love you, they accept you and they don’t hold your past against you.” The dentist told me that hearing that brought a tear to his eye. As I heard the story from the dentist it brought tears to my eyes as well.
As you can see this can be a very simple and yet a very beautiful thing in the church. However, it takes everyone being willing to die to ourselves, and to this world. Sadly, as most of us know, it doesn't take much in this world today to create a cycle of confusion, disruption, and hurt in the body of Christ. Sadly, most all of us have been affected in some negative way because others weren't able, for whatever the reason, to live this way.
Are you wiling to translate Love, Acceptance, and Forgiveness to others in the body even when you don't agree with what is happening, or what they are doing?
This is where the rubber meets the road in so many areas of ministry here at CCM. We are not perfect at it for sure, but our goal is to allow the Lord Jesus to minister in and through us all through Love, Acceptance, & Forgiveness.