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.”
5 thoughts on “What If We Got Along?”
I wish, oh I so wish I could refute what you’re saying about the church as untrue and uncommon and not the case…but I can’t. I see the same sorts of patterns. Bad communication. Bad judgement calls. Inability mixed with unwillingness to help people. Good people getting stranded. Makes me angry.
I like your idea about diversity and seeing God as the multi-dimensional being that He is.
So true. In my area there is a couple of churches who do not want to work with the other denominations because “they are too liberal.” We all believe Jesus is Lord. We are all seeking to bring God’s Kingdom to the world. We all want to love God and love neighbor. Those are expressed differently by each denomination and person. It is a shame “Jesus is Lord” is not enough to unite us. It is not enough to be considered a Christian by many.
I sometimes wonder what Jesus would think if He were to visit some of our Churches today. If He appeared poorly dressed, unshaven, sat at the back -would anyone aknowledge Him as a person?
Perhaps too often some seem to forget that God is the Head of the Church – the reason why we gather, the reason why we worship and most of all, the reason why we want to share God’s love with all.
Instead ,some folk huddle together in their own exclusiveness, ignoring, forgetting and just not wanting to mingle with those they fail to understand.
I think if Jesus came to our Town He would feel a little saddened by some welcomes in Church He would receive – for Church is “people”
of allsorts, each unique -in a Church building, Pub, Supermarket, wherever people are.. and where love is all inclusive and hugs each individual in a loving, warm embrace
Thanks again Mark for your “words” and hope you are doing ok?
It’s to late to have any kind of unity. Once the church began to break off/ splinter, into what we now see as at least 1500 different sects/denominations of Christanity. Any unity the original first century church had is forever gone. Being myself a person on the outside of Christanity looking in. I can tell you the world mocks your religion because of this lack of unity, among other things!
so sorry, my computer seems to have added the above words by error –