Every church, every denomination has a set of beliefs about God and Jesus Christ that informs its worship and practices. What is amazing about the variety and breadth of these beliefs is that they all are so different, yet they all come from one source, the Holy Bible. Together all the churches are the body of Christ, whose believers in Jesus Christ are Christ’s hands and feet in this world.
There is the church, the body of Christ, on the one hand and the individual’s relationship with God, Jesus Christ, or Holy Spirit[depending on the person’s beliefs] on the other hand. Here is where, I believe, many denominations go wrong. They command loyalty to the church and its beliefs ahead of the individual’s relationship to God. They demand an adherence to that church’s beliefs no matter what.
To my mind when someone turns his life over to God, becomes “born again” or surrenders his life to God, the first and primary loyalty is to God, be it through Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit, not through a church or a spokesperson for that church. This is where the dynamism in the relationship with God lies, where the transformation in the individual takes place, where the purpose of one’s life is revealed. God is not contained in one denomination’s or the other’s beliefs. The Spirit of God does not look to any church for any boundaries of its action in the world.
Once a person belongs to God, she must go where God leads, and must not limit God’s action in her life by staying within the boundaries of her denomination’s beliefs. As he is transformed by the Spirit, his beliefs must evolve and change. His beliefs must reflect his own individual experience of God, which may not be the same as what the denomination believes.
There is a tension between beliefs and the action of the Spirit. For me the beliefs provide a container in which the leadings of God may happen, a grounding for the person, a security in which we learn to trust God’s actions in our lives. But sometimes they need to be left behind as the Spirit leads us where God wants us to go. A person may then need to find another church whose beliefs comes closer to fitting her experience of God.