The Way Of...

Recent discussions about denominational specifics have got me thinking about Christian unity. Following a thread where we were talking about early Christians being called "The Way" or "Followers of The Way," I've been thinking about all the Christians I've had fellowship with and served alongside through my life, and how I consider all of them to be following "The Way," walking on the straight and narrow.

Up until now, I've considered myself to be non-denominational, but I've recently realised how that can sound like I mean that I've looked at every denomination and none of them are good enough for me, but what I really mean is that I don't want to limit my "allegiance," so to speak, with one denomination, because I want the chance to fellowship with and learn from all Christians (as Tolkien wrote, "Not all those who wander are lost," hence my username, Roads!) When I've asked people why they've chosen to be part of a denomination, it's often either just because their family was part of that denomination, or because that denomination's specific teachings align the most closely with that individual's specific beliefs, so they want to surround themselves with the most like-minded Christians.

I've joked that I may start calling myself every-denominational instead of non-denominational, but I'm also a bit serious about that, because I have tried to surround myself with the least like-minded Christians from myself in order to learn from what the Spirit has taught across all believers.

So, in celebration of Christian unity, I thought it might be nice to have a thread where we talk about what we've learned about walking the path of a disciple of Christ from denominations besides our "own." And I'll even get the ball rolling with just a few things I've picked up from other Christians along the way:
The Way of Compassion. I learned this from my time with the Salvation Army, who I'll still be in fellowship with for the next few months. The Salvos are all about getting into the streets, seeking out "the least of these," meeting real needs and valuing all people equally and unconditionally. I've learned so much about Jesus' heart of compassion from the Salvos, and I'm grateful.

The Way of Peace. I spent several years serving alongside a few different Mennonite communities in Canada. Mennonites are incredible people with an astonishing history, and while they have a large diversity of belief among them, pacifism is what unites them. I didn't always agree with their specific teachings about pacifism, but they still taught me about the importance of walking the way of peace, and those lessons have been incredibly important to me.

The Way of Celebration. I spent about a year attending a Pentecostal church to intentionally get just about as far out of my comfort zone as I could, and wouldn't you know it, I even learned a thing or two in the process. One of the things I learned is the importance of celebrating, which comes from genuine gratitude. Learning to walk the way of gratitude has been a long and difficult road for me, and it's often caused me to just stop and think about, and remember, just what God has done for me, and then celebrate that!
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