I heard God’s voice in the garden. When I garden I rarely hear God’s voice. Without being focussed my mind flies in every direction in what I would call scattered (not “scatter-brained”, please).

God gave the nine words all of a sudden, “There is no such thing as a Presbyterian Christian.”

A Christian has no other adjective or definition than “little Christ”, the name given in Paul’s time in Antioch (Acts 11:26). A follower of Jesus has no other loyalty than to the “source and goal of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2 God’s Word).

Now, the likelihood exists that one might find a Christian Presbyterian (one needs to insert a personal touch to this, replacing the denominational name with whatever you claim: Baptist, Roman Catholic, Anglican…), namely a person who belongs to an institution operating under a denominational (or non-denominational) title, but whose first and only loyalty abides deeply in the First Commandment of “Never have any other god” (Exodus 20:3 God’s Word).

The nine words God spoke took me deep into consideration of the implications. Those nine words lifted me to soaring heights of adoration of Creator. Those nine words crushed me beneath a frightening load that so many who retain membership in an institution do so to avoid serving, with undivided focus, the Almighty God “who tolerates no rivals” (Exodus 20:5, 34:14, Deuteronomy 4:24, 5:9, 6:15, Joshua 24:19, Nahum 1:2 God’s Word, a list which hammers the point home repeatedly).

Serve an institution and you have to do stuff to remain acceptable. You earn recognition by how much you do, not your humble faith in Jesus Christ who paid the full debt for sin. It becomes easy to buy into a lifestyle of salvation by works rather than “God saved you through faith as an act of kindness. You had nothing to do with it. Being saved is a gift from God. It’s not the result of anything you’ve done, so no one can brag about it” (Ephesians 2:8-9 God’s Word).

“Christian” as a title refuses to have any attaching definer, not religious, racial, ethnic, economic, gender, age or degree of busy-ness!

My Garden

Well, I kept busy in the garden for awhile longer. The harvest that day had less to do with my stomach, though, than with the soul.

So, are you known by your affiliation with a church building, or as an obedient servant focussed on the One True God? And will you gladly abandon any institution that asks you to work for it instead of only for Jesus?

Remember, serving God means evangelism (Matthew 28:19), social caring (Matthew 25:31-46) and willing to die for other Christians because of the love you have for God (John 15:13), not being on the property committee, fundraising for a new roof, serving at the beef supper, supporting the Christmas Bazaar…