Have you ever wondered why Christians separate themselves from one another? Have you ever wondered why there are so many different churches and denominations that choose not to approach one another? Well I have too. It doesn’t seem right to me.
All of my life I’ve heard unbelievers ask me, “why don’t Christians get along?” I’ve always wondered that myself. Even though our theologies and our doctrines might be slightly different, why do we continue to ignore fellow Jesus lovers?
A lot of people stand so hard firmed to their doctrine that they arrogantly express a judgmental mindset to someone who isn’t like them. There are so many mysteries to the Bible, so why do we have to have an opinion on what we don’t know and assume that we’re right? It’s hard to believe…but we don’t have all the answers to everything in the Bible. There are a lot of areas where only God knows what truly happened.
It reminds of a Bob Dylan quote, “Don’t criticize what you can’t understand.”
We speak pompously and pontifically at other theologians as if they haven’t spent years themselves developing their theology. We hide behind our computers, slandering those on social media whose doctrines don’t line up with our own. I know how it feels because I do it myself.
We separate ourselves because of the unknown, instead of uniting for the known.
The known being Jesus and what He did for us.
When you become defensive, you begin to show your true insecurities.
Division in the churches isn’t somethings that’s brand new. It’s been around since Paul’s time. In 1 Corinthians 1:12 Paul writes, “what I mean is that each one of you says, ‘I follow Paul,’ or ‘I follow Apollos,’ or ‘I follow Cephas,’ or ‘I follow Christ.’ Is Christ divided?”
We live in a dogmatic society that clenches to a set of decrees instead of holding firm to the reason why we’re on this earth. We say we discourage legalism, and yet we put rules inside of our doctorates to set us apart from fellow believers. We live by the regulations of our guidelines instead of living by the spirit. We say we don’t want to be like the Pharisees, but we lean on our own laws rather than on Jesus’ grace.
I’m not saying doctorates are evil. I believe we need to have a concrete foundation for our doctorates, the Bible is clear on that, but it’s not good if you build your entire house out of concrete. You’ll start to kick people out of your living spaces. Your neighbor becomes only those with concrete housing. You’ll begin to fortify yourself, but you won’t be able to help build others.
We need to integrate the church. We are one church, not separate churches. We are a body with many parts working together for God and God alone. This should be our goal; to restore and strengthen our body, instead of rebuking and reprimanding it, so that we can come together to serve the greatest cause in the world.
Like Bob Dylan writes, “Your old road is rapidly agin’. Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand, for the times they are a-changin'”
So I leave with this final verse and some words of inspiration. “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Romans 15:5-7 ESV)
Let’s strive for love and community with one another. Let’s change the world together, not for our denomination, but for Christ. Love ya dudes.