I met her at the library on Friday.  She was a “volunteer” looking after a rack of books being sold off at 25 cents apiece.  I guess the library periodically culls its inventory and disposes of broken, beaten, unusable books.  Since I am  Scottish in heritage I couldn’t pass up the idea of a bargain.  Four books for a dollar seemed like a good deal.  I don’t want to sound too Scottish but my reasoning was that it would cost me more than a dollar in gas to drive the books back to the library in a week or two’s time.

We got talking.  She was 75 and a great grandmother and proud of it.  She found out I was a Baptist minister and it provoked the next question –“which breed of Baptist?”  She was a Southern Baptist but quickly informed me that it was more important that you be a Christian first, before you be a Baptist.

I liked her thinking and her attitude.

Don’t get me wrong–I have no issue with the tribe I am part of.  In fact, for a number of legitimate reasons I choose to be part of the Baptist tribe.  But what matters most in the grand scheme of things isn’t which brand of church I attend…but my belief and behaviour with concerns to the God I serve.

I guess I hear too much sectarianism, and schism, and tension, and competition, and disrespect, and struggle between “Christian groups” and not enough love, and affection, and support, and appreciation, and sense of unity between Christian groups.

First things first…we need to be “Christian”–followers of Christ.  We need to love God, love our neighbours, do good where we can to all people.  We should love one another and when we do that, there is a likely chance that people will actually think we are followers of Christ.

BTW, what about non-Christian groups?  or anti Christian groups?  and deviant Christian groups?    Yes, we are supposed to love them too.  That sounds like a challenge.  Yes it will be.  But maybe not as hard as loving the Christian brother you’ve been duelling it out with over the years.  Hmmm.