Harmony is clearly a God element. The church is supposed to be His. The Bible speaks of the church Jesus continues to build. Yet churches in particular, and religion overall, completely shatter the image of a God-like unity. Jesus prayed for it; yet we followers find reason to legitimize divisions; separations which ought to buckle our knees in shame instead bows ours necks in audacious pride.
If there are multiple sides to this embarrassing phenomena, I surely have been on most of them during my continual growth in Christ. I've fought. I've badgered. I've accused. And, I've repented of arrogant stances I highly proclaimed came from the Word of God but, upon investigation, found they too came more from men's whims and good wishes than from Holy Writ. I'm sure my days of repentance are just getting started.
Basic division arises over protectionary preservation of the past versus possibilities for the future. Either can be right if indeed faithful to the God's instruction. The problem with us is we've placed God's will against the backdrop or our wants. In turn we create the God we want and the message we want rather than the reverse. The Church of Christ in particular has tried to get back to the Bible but couldn't pull it off. Others have the similar goal with identical results.
Here's a very simple idea which might separate the wheat from the chaff on both sides. Who is tending to the stranger? Who is getting into the ditch with the victims of brutality and injustice? Who loves the beggars and embraces the AIDS carrier? Not the majority who pridefully claim to be of the truth of God.
Could it be true that the true church is very much a reality but it isn't known by form or fashion? Could it possibly be true that the real church of God is alive today in each person who carries the heart of Jesus into the ditches, the chemo clinics, and the homeless shelters?
All kinds of brands and every kind of slant of Christianity can make bold claims...we all do. But here's one thing true about every one of us. When strangers walk into most of our complexes on a simple Sunday morning....way too many of our properly formed believers.....scatter. We talk a good Sunday School talk; but we hide among ourselves from the poor, the lame, and the blind.
Our struggle is essentially unnecessary. We must improve our Christ-likeness....all of us.