Guidelines for the Journey

13. Agreement and harmony on the journey

Of course, we are not the only ones on the way to the City of God.† There are many Christian groups of born-again people travelling the road.† Each group plans its own route and itís quite possible to feel at home in one group and uneasy in another.† So itís best to walk with a group where youíre happy.† If you donít like the route one group is taking, then itís best to keep looking till you find a group whose way you do like.

In the Fellowship of Christ, we never try to push or persuade anyone to walk with us.† We want only people who are willing to take us as we are.† We donít try to change anyoneís ideas about what a Fellowship should be (Thatís Godís work) and we donít want anyone trying to change the way we do things either (That is also Godís work).† We just want people who are happy with us the way we are.

The only thing that happens when we try to make people change is that they become unhappy.† That leads to division, discontent and fault finding.† And we are quite sure that God doesnít want that among his people.† Agreement and harmony are essential for our journey together (John 17.20-23).

14. Itchy feet on the journey

But people do change and their ideas can change.† And itís quite possible for someone in the Fellowship to become attracted to another Christian group or to want to do things differently from the rest of the Fellowship.† In such a situation it is best to separate.

When this happens it is impossible to avoid hurt.† The one, who goes, feels the pain of separation from friends.† Those who remain also feel the pain of separation (Acts 20.36-38).† But hurt can be kept to a minimum, if the one, who goes, does not try to justify himself or to take others with him and if those, who remain, donít allow the hurt they feel to develop into resentment (John 13.34-35).

However we must face the fact that an occasion may arise, when someone, who is totally out of sympathy with the aims and direction of the Fellowship, simply refuses to go and presents a threat to the continuing agreement and harmony of the Fellowship.† The longer such a situation is allowed to continue, the more damage is done.† The wisest and kindest action under these difficult circumstances is an imposed separation carried out as swiftly as possible (Hebrews 12.14-17).

Separation is never easy, but then we can be sure it wasnít easy for Jesus either when people stopped walking with him (John 6.66-68).

15. Walking with Jesus to the end of the journey

The important thing is that, whatever comes, we keep on walking with Jesus.† Whether the going is rough or smooth, whether we enjoy the view from the mountain tops or plod through the valley, whether we walk in brilliant sunshine or feel our way in deepest darkness, the important thing is that we walk with Jesus in faith and hope and love until the day when we reach our destination and see him face to face with the angels and archangels and the whole company of heaven.† Then we will rejoice for we will have arrived at journeyís end and the place where eternity begins (Hebrews 12.1-2).

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Fellowship of Christ

Dunfermline, Scotland.