Saturday, May 8, 2010

What the Church Should Look Like

I love the above graphic because it speaks so loudly of unity. This is how the church should be. If ever there was a group of people who should be united, it is the church. The reason for this is that we have the greatest thing in common: salvation in Jesus Christ.

It's ironic that I went to seminary to learn as much as I could about the bible, but while there I learned little about the importance of unity. I'm sure that much of this is my own fault. I became so focused on what Southern Baptists believe that I formed a sort of mental wall between myself and those Christians who are outside the "Southern Baptist bubble."

I realize now that this is not only absurd but also just plain wrong. The bible could not be clearer on the importance of the unity of the church. Despite the numerous passages dealing with this, I somehow managed to miss the importance of unity while I was "learning so much bible" at seminary.

Two well-known passages jump to mind as I ponder this:

John 17:20-21, "I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me."

I Corinthians 1:10-12, "I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 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.'"

May we all strive for unity in Christ. He is what unifies us.

We will all probably hold some differing beliefs about issues secondary to the gospel. I doubt that I agree with anyone on the planet on everything related to the Christian life. However, I can still be united in Christ with them. I can even have a healthy discussion/debate with them. We can remain united while still differing in non-gospel beliefs.

The above graphic is a good one. However, one obvious thing is missing. To be complete, Jesus Christ would be at the center.

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