I'm writing today at Internet Cafe Devotions. I wrote this before the Presbyterian Church USA decision, so it's even more timely now. I hope you'll join me there. Plus the Cafe is having a big summer giveaway!
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:3-6)
When I was younger, my best friend (a cat lover) and I (a dog lover) would often argue which made superior pets: cats or dogs. No matter how many times we went round and round, we always ended up exactly where we started—each of us firmly entrenched in our original positions, wondering how the other could be so blind to what was so obvious. We felt sure that the other was…well…wrong.
Rivalries seem to be built into the fibers of our beings.
Republican vs. Democrat
Mars vs. Venus
Yankees vs. Red Sox
We’re not shy to promote our points of view. When we encounter rivals the exchange might be good-natured or a bit more “heated.” In the end we’re usually confident our thinking is right and the other person is…well…wrong.
But what happens when we bring this rivalry and single-minded thinking into the Church? It has certainly led to a lot of us vs. them in the body of Christ.
Evangelical vs. mainline denominations
Catholic vs. Protestant
Traditional vs. contemporary
According to the World Christian Encyclopedia, what started as one unified Church has become over 33,000 Christian denominations worldwide and over 6,000 in the United States alone. Churches have split over every conceivable point of pride, passion, practice and preference. It seems a lot of believers think plenty of others are…well…wrong.
I’m passionate about my faith, but I can be single-minded. While I’ve experienced the Church in ways far bigger than the four walls of my home church, I still hold points of view that I think are right. I might not have God in a box, but he’s certainly in a fenced yard. Read more . . .