Christianity more than church and denomination — Dr Isaac Brown
As chairman of the North East Missionary Conference, Dr Isaac Brown is responsible for 32 Christian assemblies across St Mary, Portland, St Ann, and St Catherine. He has been actively involved in the church for the past 35 years.
As pastor at the Ebenezer Gospel Chapel in Rock River, St Mary, Brown delivers regular sermons and lectures, but has developed a fondness for one particular biblical text over the years.
Speaking to Family & Religion last week, he explained: "My favourite scripture is Romans 10:9, which says: 'If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.'
"That scripture is important to me because you can only be saved by accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour, and that has nothing to do with denomination or religion. I believe the biggest religious issue facing the people of St Mary is the interpretation of scripture, because people will tell you that if you are not doing what they are doing, you are lost. But they have missed the mark because people interpret scriptures based on their background, what has been taught to them, and their own experiences."
Brown believes that denominational disagreements are irrelevant and all too often distract Christians from what they should be focusing on.
He said: "There is division in the Christian faith in terms of interpretation of scripture, but I don't get hung up with denominations. I believe in being born-again and accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour.
"I don't believe that where you go to church or which church you align yourself with has anything to do with your salvation. You have to be aligned to Jesus. I avoid getting involved with that kind of discussion. I'd rather share testimony than to talk about the church I attend. Even if I go out to preach, I'm not interested in telling people which church or group of persons I'm associated with. I'm there to tell people about the power of Christ and to pray for them so they can be made whole, physically and spiritually."
Brown, who has worked as a parish manager for the North East Regional Health Authority for the past 10 years, believes that if Christians spent less time arguing over denominational issues and were more focused on trying to emulate Jesus, Jamaica and its citizens would be much better off.
He said: "People are divided in Jamaica on political and Christian denominational grounds. We should be of one accord in terms of serving Christ who came to bring us together, not divide us, but even He was misunderstood in His day because people missed the mark.
"This country would be a far better place if all of us just concentrated on submitting ourselves to and serving Christ rather than talking about churches and denominations."