A long long time ago, my fellowship was going through some conflict. There was debate over a night where a sister had party. There was a huge fuss about some members acting non-Christian like in there. One thing lead to another and people start to get upset over things. The sister said, "oh but this is a non fellowship event."
Lately, I am reminded of the idea of compartmentalizing your faith. I was thinking in the relationship of what we consider as spiritual activities. You know, like Sunday Service, Sunday School, Bible Study, Fellowship, Prayer Meeting. All these things are great. So I hope people don't misinterpret and think Cliff say no to Bible study etc.
I am attending part time at Mac Div. On Fri, I picked up a paper and was glad to see that I pass. Even a brother asked me, "did you pass?"
I was reflecting that perhaps it ain't important whether I pass or not. Rather it is important whether this course or paper helped me focus on the Gospel or not. We know that in the arena of academics, one can fudge and fake his way to get a passing grade. As much as we are sincere in going to school for knowledge (in Seminary wise, we are there to get to know God better), I can tell you there is a part of me that wants the grade and the recognition. You know, the recognition that, 'oh Cliff is a spiritual guy because he went to Seminary and know his Bible'.
If that is the end all and be all of going to Seminary, I am afraid I miss the point.
Then again, doesn't this happen at church or Christian culture?
Oh _____ (insert name) is a Christian because he/she ______ [insert goes to church/involve in many ministries/go to prayer meeting].
We are to remember what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:31: So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God (NASB version)
Whatever you do. I am reminded that it doesn't matter if I get a fancy degree or even pass the course. The first and foremost is to know God. Not just a knowledge but a deeper understanding of who He is and permeate in all that I do. In whatever that I do. That's the key. This is a different measure. It doesn't matter if I pass or fail. Because in the long run, and I do mean, the long eternal perspective, getting a degree doesn't matter. Nothing really matters.
What really matters Jesus already accomplish. On the cross. For sinners like us. When none of us deserve it. And because of Him, we are reconcile before God. We are adopted and are called to be children of God. And this is only through Grace. Not works (or some master or Phd degree or any ministries). Because when I was rebelling against God, hating Him, even before I aware I hated Him, He saved me (Romans 5).
Going back to what I said earlier in the post....I have to remind myself, my faith is not just in church or church-related activities. it is in everything I do. Whatever I do. If it is not in everything, I have to be careful and be earnest that what I do in 'church' is not out of self-pride. Rather it is for the body of Christ and the Kingdom.