Continuing my reading through Mark, I came across a passage that I have heard before, but it reads differently now that I am a church planter. Specifically, it relates to choosing whom our new church will affiliate with.
I don’t have to tell anyone that Christendom is splintered into groups, sub-groups, sub-sub-groups, and so on. We divide over some pretty important issues and some, well, just plain ridiculous.
In Mark 9:38-41, the disciples come to Jesus and tell him about a man who was driving out demons in His name, so they told him to stop “because he was not one of us.” Jesus replied, “Do not stop him. No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us.”
So, the next time I feel the desire to be critical about another group who is operating in the name of Jesus (whether they be, in my judgment, more conservative or more liberal than myself), I need to remember Jesus’ instructions. “Whoever is not against us is for us.”