The Republicans and the Democrats work against each other just like the Baptists and the Presbyterians or the Church of Christ and the Church of Christ. Proclaiming only ones right has resulted in deadlock in our nation's government and dreadlock among the religious. We are dead in our tracks; but our speeches still try to convince ourselves of our own glory.
(While this post isn't centrally about politics, it could be worth noting that one of the deadening problems with such these days is they have become the religion of many.)
The solution to needed and God-desired unity will only be found in the line drawn; that line being Jesus. He separates to harmonize.
It is surprising to me how divisive Jesus is in his proposal for solution. I would never have guessed he would cause division in his church; but he does. I could get along with many of my enemies if I would revert to my days of preaching on the Church of Christ that we build; but under the guise that he is still the one building....but by our tradition laden blueprints.
I wouldn't have believed if I hadn't experienced it; but to preach Christ instead of Church of Christ is highly divisive among us in the Church of Christ.
Yet, when Jesus draws our attention to himself (since he is the one building his global church), life in any church becomes immediately different. One loses his or her appetite for argument because we realize our personal foolishness.
When focused on the church, the yardstick of accomplishment and measurement of pattern gain ungodly power. Comparison thrives. Unresolute division does as well.
When one's focus grows to be inclined toward Jesus, several necessary things develop:
- Being the only ones right fades for no one is right except Jesus. We are only right because he dared to take on all of our wrongs. A sense of humility is properly experienced.
- The specks of denominational error is shown to diminish when noting the tree trunks in our own doctrines.
- Division will remain significant; believer from unbeliever. Yet, the unity among we believers of varying tribes will experience a harmony out of heaven; nothing like earthy unity could provide.
- Jesus will cull, by his very words and actions, what the Word really says versus what we mistakenly and egotistically insist the Word says to back our traditional patterns.
- We will find that in the Gospels Jesus constantly pitted two or three in a picture with at least one of the players being a reprobate; the others religiously committed. 100% of the time he will expose those of us who have made the church our God. He will reject--always in the story--the one who promoted his narrow and proud religious perspective. This surely must awaken us!
I have experienced about four years of praying once a month with Baptist pastors at the South Tulsa Baptist Church where my good friend Ted Kersh pastors. I didn't know water and oil could mix. I didn't know if we would mix. By His grace, this is one wonderful experience.
It's an odd thing in a biblical sort of way. When you authentically love another in the Brand Name of Jesus a mutual, holy, and pure relationship evolves. Together we plead that God would bring revival. Together we pray for one another and his work. Together we learn about ourselves and each other without having one lecture. Prayer to God in Jesus authority is bringing about a biblical unity I didn't know could happen.
The dividing line is Jesus--not the church and her doctrines--and the solution to unity is that same Jesus. The hope of all harmony will not be a convention of whose doctrines are kept and which ones go. No, it will come about when all of us peel away our denominational pride and forge a new path to the One Jesus.