A Journey, Part 2

Denomination: a name or designation, especially one for a class of things.


The word bugs me on so many levels.

Mostly because it creates distinction and designation within the body of Christ,

something I don’t prefer. There is nothing wrong with people who call themselves Baptists, Lutherans, Catholics, etc. It bothers me when those distinctions lead believers to elevate themselves over another body of believers.

I don’t think Christ would have wanted that.

Having a denomination or labeling ourselves is something that Tobin and I have chosen not to do…but we don’t judge those who do. We just prefer the term follower of Christ.

And that’s really where our journey begins. But before I dive into more deep thoughts I want to clarify something.

You might think from some of the things I have written that Tobin and I have disagreed with every church we’ve attended, and that’s not the case. Our last one was Baptist and we loved it.

I’m more referring to the churches preceding that one. On the whole, we disagree with certain things being taught in some churches. ABC…we loved. I simply have nothing negative to say about it, and that’s the truth. And I also can’t lay blame on any one church or college…because life is a series of experiences. There are many good things that were taken from those churches and that college I attended…and also some things that I am choosing to not take away. So please don’t see this as Mel’s bitter revenge but rather as a piece of the journey.

At one time there was some bitterness, but I am choosing to move on from that.

Ok, deep breath.

Tobin and I have said over and over that the most valuable thing we took away from Indonesia was a more open mind. Don’t misread that as us being tolerant of all things now…we simply view life from a different vantage point. We have seen how preferential differences in the body of Christ can be something positive rather than negative. Too often, many Christians believe that anyone who is different is wrong…and that’s not the case at all.

Tobin and I had quite the conversation about LOVE last week, which I eluded to in a previous post.

We’d been talking about how important LOVE is…how we can have so many things, do so many things, believe so many things…but without LOVE, it’s nothing.

LOVE was what Christ showed when he walked the earth, what he demonstrated when he went to the cross, what God showed when he let him

go to the cross.

But I think LOVE is lacking in some Christian circles.

My husband made a comment that has stuck with me for the last week, one that drives home the need for me to continually keep my attitude and mindset in check.

He said, “Because of the way I was raised, my first instinct is to judge rather than love.”

He is trying desperately to change that, and I’ve seen what can come from a human being making that decision.

It’s a blessing to me, my marriage, and my family, but I also thought, Wow. What if we all had that mindset?

Am I loving first


Most of the time, no. But I am seeing, firsthand, what it looks like when someone chooses love over judging.

It’s incredible.

So, armed with that LOVE…through, and only through, the power of Christ… we are trying to be follo

wers of him.

Because we’re no longer calling ourselves Baptists, does that mean that we’ve abandoned everything we were taught?


In fact, our core beliefs have not changed.

However, are we following the expectations we experienced as children/teenagers/college students/adults?


We’re learning what it looks like to walk the fine line of finding freedom in Christ without using grace as an excuse

to do what we want. Of being in the world without being like the world. Of making sure that our preferences still follow what God’s Word has to say.

Some of you are probably wondering why I’m even blogging all of this. At times it probably seems like too much information. And maybe I’m doing it more for myself than for others. But I did have the thought the other day that

If I had known me for years and read some of the things I’ve written lately, I’d wonder.

So maybe it’s my attempt to tell you that while some things have changed, I’m still following Christ. I still want that with all my heart.

And I’m trying to love others through it, too.



  1. Coming out of a background of this type of thing, it is funny (funny strange, not funny ha-ha), that throughout your post you seem to try to explain and/or defend your position. As if you are expecting that those who are reading are coming from the same place you are finding yourself and Tobin stepping away from and therefore are going to judge you instead of love you. Interesting?

    Of course, I get it! Except for some things that are most definitely TMI, if a blog isn’t a place for the author to, among other things, work things out for themselves, than what’s the point? There will be people who come across your blog who need to read this, as they are struggling through the same things. That’s what I’ve found at my place, so it’s an honest reflection of an honest journey!

    Anyway…..just appreciating you and Tobin’ journey today Mel! Truly!

    • Interesting, yeah. I tried so hard to not sound like I’m defending myself, but at the same time I want people to know where I’m coming from. But, yeah, I know you get it. :) I’m really trying to let go of the worrying-what-other-people-think thing…and just write. I think I’m getting there. (((hugs)))

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