Dave Black has a new essay titled Are You a Kingdom Christian?. This is something that is dear to my heart. I’ve written about it before from a different angle.
… For us, the human organization is somewhat arbitrary. I say this as a committed Baptist. Baptists are not the only true expression of God’s kingdom. I know that some will call me a heretic for saying this, but I believe it is what the Scriptures teach. “There will be one flock and one Shepherd,” said Jesus (John 10:16). This flock is comprised of all obedient followers of Jesus. Out ultimate allegiance must be to Him. This loyalty surpasses even our (legitimate) loyalty to our denominations. In the kingdom, moreover, there are no barriers to fellowship — racial, cultural, tribal, or national. Jesus’ kingdom has no national boundaries, no military forces, no earthly king, no passports.
All I’d need to do is substitute “Methodist” for “Baptist” and I could sign it.
Thus, in the kingdom of God, what matters is obedience. The essence of the Christian faith lies in our willingness to walk in the way of Jesus. Paul writes, “The kingdom of God is not in word but in power” (1 Cor. 4:20). In other words, the essence of the kingdom is not theology (word) but practice (deed). …
You need to read the whole essay to see clearly that he is not denying salvation by faith (nor am I!), but what he’s saying here is very scriptural. In fact, I think it is one of the most consistent themes in scripture. When we read Paul otherwise (which happens when we read Galatians 1-4, but skip 5 & 6, or get through about Romans 8 as my seminary class did, but don’t spend time in 2 Corinthians, Philippians, or the pastorals), we place him in contrast to Jesus and to the God of the Old Testament … which is not good.