Georgia – ‘I hope no reader will suppose that “Mere” Christianity is here put forward as an alternative to the creeds of the existing communions – as if a man could adopt it in preference to congregationalism or Greek Orthodoxy or anything else. It is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If I can bring anyone into that hall I shall have done what I attempted. But it is in the rooms, not the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals. The hall is a place to wait in, a place from which to try the various doors, not a place to live in. For that purpose the worst of the rooms (whichever that may be) is, I think, preferable. It is true that some people may find they have to wait in the hall for a considerable time, while others feel certain almost at once which door they must knock at. I do not know why there is this difference, but I am sure God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait. When you do get into your room you will find that the long wait has done you some kind of good which you would not have had otherwise. But you must regard it as waiting, not as camping. You must keep on praying for the light: and, of course, even in the hall, you must begin trying to obey the rules which are common to the whole house. And above all you must be asking which door is the true one; not which pleases you best by its paint and panelling. In plain language, the question should never be: “Do I like that kind of service?” but “Are these doctrines true: Is holiness here? Does my conscience move me toward this? Is my reluctance to knock at this door due to my pride, or my mere taste, or my personal dislike of this particular door-keeper?” When you have reached your own room, be kind to those who have chosen different doors and to those who are still in the hall. If they are wrong they need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, then you are under orders to pray for them. That is one of the rules common to the whole house.’ – From the Preface to C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity
This is sort of good thing to remember when ‘church shopping’. Since we’ll be moving late this year, we’ve been using the internet to get a good idea of what churches are in that area. To be honest, most of them belong to one denomination or another. In other words, they already believe a pre-defined code or creed that usually has Biblical support. Since I’ve been spoiled by a non-denominational church that does things the way it does to make things easier for all concerned parties, it’s going to be interesting going back to a church that tells me what I ought to believe to be a member. Honestly, I’m more apt to ask if I like the service than if it follows doctrine. The point of this faith thing isn’t to bring people into our preferred door, but to get them into the hall and to let them choose the door that best suits them and their needs. It’ll serve no constructive purpose to tear down their choice of door. The point is to get where we can follow the rules common to the whole house because there will be day when all the walls and doors disolve in the one body church the Bible talks about and we’ll soon realize that the denominational lines were already erased before we got there.