Having coffee today with my Pastor led us into a conversation concerning the Church’s inability to get along and to cooperate with each other. I left angry, not at him, since he was with object of a local mega-church snub, but angry at the constant lack of love that exists between the warring factions on the right and left within the body of Christ.
We also have WDCX, the one local Christian radio station in Buffalo that regularly whether overtly, or covertly minimizes and rejects any church or para-church organization deemed too “liberal” and possibly heretical, if they do not line up with their conservative philosophy. In fact, a recent talk show topic on the station discussed the church “slide” into liberalism, effectively vilifying any church that does not adhere to a conservative view on social issues.
A word about “warring factions”, in most cases this is not an outward attack but rather a subtle dismissal of individuals, congregations, and in some cases denominations that don’t line up exactly with what a particular church embraces.
So how do we “become one” as Jesus prayed? How do we show the world that we are different?
Might I suggest that we learn to appreciate the diversity of individuals within the Body. Might I also suggest that we begin to understand that God is not a one-dimensional being but rather, a multidimensional being a diverse as His creation.
My greatest prayer for the Church is for a Church the is truly inclusive. This inclusivity means being able to disagree, sometimes heatedly, with each other on political and social issues yet maintaining a unity cemented together with unconditional love.
We have divided the church, making Her ineffective in promoting the Gospel of grace and unconditional love to the larger world around us. We have forgotten the foundation, the cornerstone.
Whether Conservative, Progressive, Liberal, or Fundamental, the Church is built on Jesus. He is our Common Denominator. He blood flows over all of us, and His forgiveness and grace should infuse our relationships, congregations and denominations.
When we understand this then, and only then, will the “world know that we are His disciples.”