Did you ever think about what you were saved to, when you became a Christian? It is a rather interesting thought, to me anyway. When I was saved (when I was just a kid) I was already a son of a ‘preacherman’ (isn’t that a song), a Conservative Baptist ‘Preacherman’. So my experience, right away, as a Christian was a more Fundy-Baptistic experience of Christianity. We dressed certain ways, believed in the ‘autonomy’ of the local church, had pot-lucks, did door-to-door evangelism, had a bus ministry for kids, wore three piece suits (I did even when I was 3 and 4 years old, I was soo cute 😉 ), read the King James Bible (not because we were ‘King James Only’ or anything, just because it was prominent back then), believed in the ‘Pre-trib’/’Premil’ view of end times, were quite ‘Dispensational’, and various other cultural and doctrinal distinguishing factors.
I say all this to underscore something, and that is that ‘we are all “saved” to something. I’m obviously not talking about being saved by Jesus, but this is part of it, instead what I am talking about is the ‘kind of Christian culture’ we are saved into once we become a Christian. I am sure some of the things I listed above resonate with some of your experiences, but I am also sure that much of may not. You may have been saved into an ‘higher-church’ situation (like Presbyterianism, Anglicanism, Lutheranism, Methodism, etc.), or into an ’emergent-church’ situation (I’m sorry 😉 ), or a ‘seeker-sensitive’ church, or maybe an charismatic/pentecostal situation; each situation provides different perspectives, different emphases, different cultures (so to speak), different doctrinal bases, etc.
I think a lot of times we forget that not everybody’s “salvation experience” is the same as mine. There are a lot of variables involved in the larger body of Christ, and each of these twists can offer a richer deeper understanding for all of us as we grow together in Christ — that’s the positive side. But some of our Christian cultures can have an negative impact, some of our experiences have been prone to sectarianism; which means that we think that our ‘Christian-experience’ is THE Christian experience, and if others aren’t with us, then they must be against us. In fact this is really the heritage of my own Fundamentalist heritage, which is to withdrawal from “Christians” and the world in a way that isolates into an enclave of ‘protection’. My Christian culture, although not overtly (and I would say that in all reality my experience defied my particular heritage — because of my dad and mom’s relationship with Christ), is based upon this kind of outlook; to retreat from anyone who doesn’t hold my doctrinal beliefs (inerrancy of scripture, deity of Christ, bodily resurrection, etc. etc.) — and maybe it’s not that they don’t hold my beliefs, but it is that they don’t say or articulate them the sanctioned way that they ought to — and it’s not just doctrine that becomes my ‘standard’, but it’s ‘my Christian experience’. If they don’t have pot-lucks, if they don’t dress a certain way, if their church building looks different from mine, etc.
Anyway, my point is, we are all “saved to something;” how does that ‘something’ inform or shape the way you approach the outside world and even other “Christians?”