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Monday, January 29, 2018

Christian Fellowship - Church Borders

I recently attempted to continue a friendship with a fellow "brother" whom I had met at a church I and my wife had joined in 2016.  The brother and I socialized at church Men's Ministry meetings once a month.  I was seeking Christian friends who I had something in common with.  The common theme was to interact with another brother trying to live a Christian lifestyle.

I left that church midway during 2017 due to my perception that the church was not attempting to grow as were the pastor's stated written goals.  Originally the "brother" offered to continue talking to me during weekly phone conversations.  I declined but still periodically stayed in touch with him via text messages.

I had asked him and his wife to meet with me and my wife for lunch one day.  I felt that fellowship could continue despite us not attending the same church. Prior to that happening he sent me a text stating that something was happening with the church that involved the health of the church.  Based on whatever was going on he cancelled the luncheon meeting with me and my wife. I never heard from him again, even after I sent him a follow up note expressing hope that all was well with his church.

Without talking to him, I am disappointed that this Christian man felt he could no longer interact with me because he felt interaction with me and my wife socially would not benefit his church.  Apparently he felt it was not in the best interest of his church to fellowship with me, someone who had left his church.  I mistakenly felt that it didn't matter that we were not members of the same church.  But, apparently he feels it does matter.  Church walls apparently are borders to Christians being friends?  That's a new concept I'm still trying to process.

I have moved on and am active in the new church I joined along with my wife.  Initially my wife remained behind as a member of the church I left.  She finally decided to also leave and we joined the church she had left when we married years ago.  I believe my wife and the 'brother's" wife remain friends and try to interact at lunch sometimes.  What I have learned is that Christians remain humans and cannot be counted on to put away human feelings and beliefs.  We all believe in the same God but staying friends with only members of your church is a priority?  Is that Christian Fellowship?