Ever asked, or been asked, that question? What kind of answer did you have?
Most of us would immediately run to identify and defend our own denomination. After all, it's what we believe, right? It's the one we attend regularly and invite other people to attend. It's what we feel most comfortable with. But while it might help us feel connected with God, is it necessarily the "right" Christianity?
We could immediately leap into comparisons of denominations and comparisons of major religions claiming Jesus as one of their pillars of faith, but due to my own foundations and experiences, I'm going to focus solely on Christianity as the way to speak with Heaven, because I can tell you for sure that Jesus is alive and well in my life.
But even though I'm a non-denominational Christian, I recognize something honest: It isn't the only way to speak with Jesus, and may not even be the best way for me to align my life under his Word.
I believe the Bible is the holy word of God, but I could point out multiple, gifted teachers who would argue which denomination or delineation of Jesus followers are better than the others. Who am I to believe?
I might learn something different from all of them, perspectives everyone should learn, but each might be more prominently taught based on the characteristics of each denomination any given teacher might belong. But is there one single kind that overall works better than others?
I met a young lady at Starbucks in my hometown about two years ago who wore only old-school dresses and didn't use anything modern and otherwise lived a traditional life based on her particular Christian delineated, based off a highly successful period of revival based in the 1950's, in which the patriarch of her church kind of lit people on fire for God (figuratively, of course). For her church, the supernatural healings and changed lives were proof to them that that particular combination and approach to God's word was the most successful. In her heart, that's how she connects with and serves God. That's awesome that she finds peace in it.
But would that work for me? I don't imagine so.
And if it works for her and not me, and non-denom works for me and not for her, does it boil down to that every denomination is really built to help people with particular styles to reach God in that particular style?
Or maybe we're all missing the mark?
Boil it all down, throw away all denominations, ignore the history of Christendom, and what do you have? The Word of God.
Imagine a man deep in the Amazon, who by strange circumstance could read a particular language, stumbled across a Bible in his own particular language, and learned to read and follow it, would he be any less holy for not having a denomination?
If anything, it might be safe to say that he might get it more right than the rest of us. Sure, he might miss out on some great insight from other teachers, like Martin Luther, St. Francis of Assisi (sp?), William Wordsworth, Thomas Moore, John Wesley, but they are only perspectives -- however insightful -- on the pure truth written in the pages of the Bible.
Jesus is life, not interpretations of him. All a man truly needs is the Word of God and an open heart for the Holy Spirit to speak to him through that Word. We get lost in the secondary books and trappings that, while can be very helpful in understanding God's word, especially without an intimate knowledge of the history of Israel and its culture, as well as translating the numerous colloquialisms written throughout the book, don't make up for the word, itself.
Which is the right kind of Christianity? Maybe a better question is: Which is the right Jesus?
I'd say it's maybe the Jesus you meet while reading his word. The beauty of the Bible is that it will speak to different people differently, often based on where people are in their own lives. Several believers can read the same section of the Word and disagree on what it means, or at the least what it means to them.
Ultimately, when you read the Bible, how has God spoken to you? Who is the Jesus you met while reading those red letters? How has he changed your life? Or if he hasn't, are you letting other people color how you absorb the Word of the living God? Are you interpreting powerful truths through filters that weaken its impact in your life?
I'm not telling you to abandon your denomination -- they have their purpose -- but don't let it water down the power of Jesus's words. He calls us to love God with all our heart, mind and body, and to love our neighbor as ourself. These are the most powerful of words.
Are you living by them? Are you following these precepts above all others, or are you focusing more on the judgemental parts of the Bible to justify locking yourself into haughtiness, arrogance, deceipt, pride?
No matter where you are, follow Jesus. That's just right.