the Scriptures are rife with pleas from Christ and the apostles, Paul especially, to put down arms and embrace unity.
it’s incredible to me, then, that disunity, division and squabbling are key characteristics of the American church. the Baptists are crucifying the Pentecostals for speaking in tongues, and the Catholics shouldn’t be baptising at birth and the Lutherans and Wesleyans are ok with women pastors, while everyone else seems to be stuck in the 1950’s. and then there’s the “non-denominational” church, which really doesn’t mean much except that they don’t pay denominational fees. but they reserve the right to their judgments, thank you very much. the Driscoll-disciples are burning Rob Bell books and we’re using the pulpit to condemn God’s creation.
if one were to completely pull back from the picture and look, they would see a world in chaos and a church in even greater conflict. Christ came to continue God’s vision of redemption and reconciliation, and all we’re doing with it is using his name to create more discord.
do you still believe that God is really bigger than the dispute?
do you believe that it’s really not our job to figure out who’s “right” and “wrong,” but that He can do that for us?
do you believe in a mysterious God who can’t be quite figured out?
do you believe that Jesus called us to navigate and discuss our differences, but ultimately to embrace our brothers and sisters and their unique perspectives on God and the world?
i truly desire to answer yes to all these questions, but find my pride, arrogance, tendency toward dissonance, extreme value of independance constantly getting in the way. i’m not convinced Christ calls me to do it perfectly always, but i’m pretty sure He called me to walk with Him. and in doing so, i have to acknowledge His insistence that we love each other as we love ourselves, as He loves us.