I've thought about the above wording a lot lately. I've heard it in different circles, and if not that exact terminology, words of equivalent significance. The words imply a casual connection, a non-intimate or familiar relationship. Often it is in reference to a religious denomination affiliation. "I was born Catholic...I'm kind of a Christian...I'm Jewish by blood but not practice, you know, socially..."
God's not looking to be 'loosely affiliated' with any one of His children. He's intimate. If He weren't, He wouldn't have sent His Son to live earth life among His creation. Religion would have been sufficient...you know, actions here and there, going to worship once in a while, expecting a priest or pastor or rabbi to do the work for us. Intimacy, truly getting into God's word to know Who He is, seeking His will in prayer, that's not casual. It has nothing to do with denominational preference. It has everything to do with grasping the plain fact that God is so in love with us that He desires to be the Director of our lives, for His glory and for our good.
Affiliation means: to bring or receive into close connection as a member or branch, to combine
Loosely means: not rigidly fastened or securely attached; not in the possession of either of two competing teams
The definition of 'affiliation' reminds me in God's word about Christ being the Vine and us being the branches. It also lays heavily on my heart that pruning is necessary when it comes to vines. Pruning keeps the branches close to the Source. I don't despise it...
The definition of 'loosely' in the context of being connected to something is downright frightful. The branch on our peach tree that was loose from the last storm is in the dumpster in the alley. And as far as 'not being in the possession of either of two competing teams' as in a ball, well, in the scope of eternity, there are two competing teams: God's and satan's. If God doesn't have possession of your life, with Christ as the captain, there's only one other team...and believe me, it's not news that he's competing diligently to 'steal the ball'.