What “Branch” of The Lord are you in?

Being a bi-vocational Pastor often affords me the ability to connect with a unique group of people outside of the Church world.  Recently, a fellow that I have been talking with for several years asked me “What branch of the Lord are you a part of?”  He wanted to know my belief system, but only knew how to ask the question in the most unchurched manner.  I found it refreshing.

In past days I would have been able to say in a split-second, “I belong to a fundamentalist, pentecostal, holiness church.  We believe in the 9 supernaturally endowed gifts of the Holy Spirit as outlined in 1 Corinthians 12 and in a secondary work of grace known as the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the speaking in other tongues as the initial physical evidence of such baptism.
All of that being true, somehow it just doesn’t seem to be right.  It seems more like an infomercial than it does a conversation.  Instead, and I’m sure this was the Holy Spirit because I’m just not this smart, I looked at him and said, “You know, I’m just a follower of Jesus.”  Wouldn’t it be grand if someone where to look at my life, and at some point they saw enough Jesus to call me a “Christian”.  But isn’t it somewhat presumptive of me to say that I am just like Christ?
I’m not sure anymore what a “christian” is in our culture.  One person is a tee-totaler while the other has a class of wine at dinner or some beers with the guys.  One doesn’t own a television while the other has sheet-rocked the plasma screen into the wall for a home theater.  One is Democrat while the other is Republican.  One is Pro-life, while the other is Pro-choice.  One is abstinent, while the other is in a second or third marriage.  One is in service everytime the doors are open, while the other prefers to worship at home or on the lake.
Am I to believe that the nun that feeds and clothes the orphans in India and the guy that murders the abortion doctor in church are all “christian”?  That, to quote the President, is above my pay grade.  If I don’t know what it means to be a “christian” how can I expect the person that doesn’t even own a Bible to figure it out?  No, I think I would just rather attempt to follow Jesus.
I guess I’ll have to rely on Hebrews 11:6 But without faith, it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
Lord, I believe.  Please help my unbelief.
Pastor Gary & Gayle began their life journey together on March 22, 1977. Growing up in the same church and going to the same school they were truly “high school sweethearts”. They now share this journey with their 3 daughters, Katrina, Stephanie, and Allison. On their honeymoon they had what would come to be the earmark experience of their life and ministry. Through a set of unfortunate circumstances they met a young woman that had walked away from the Lord, and on their honeymoon they were able to lead both her and her roommate back to Jesus. Pastor Gary & Gayle have pursued a life of obedience to the call of God that has led them through many youth ministry positions, and evangelistic ministry, a senior pastorate in Southern Idaho, and then to the current assignment of church planters in Southeast Portland. Their ministry is marked by a deep sense of committment to entertain the presence of the Holy Spirit, rely on His supernatural enabling, and place ministry opportunities into the hands of the believers.

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