“I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose” (I Corinthians 1:10 NLT).
What are we supposed to be united on in the church? We have a plethora of programs, projects, and fellowship dinners targeted to our brothers and sisters, but does that not help perpetuate the argument that church stuff is just for church people? If so, does God really belong in the public arena? It always amazes me when walking into a church business meeting or any gathering of Christians just how many different minds, thoughts, and purposes there are. Not to mention, the majority of church lingo reiterates the misconception that individual churches are a separate body of Christ.
Those who believe in Christ are a part of His body. “Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other” (Romans 12:4-5 NLT). Each church is comprised of different parts of Christ’s body. These various churches exist to reach a specific demographic of the population for Christ’s sake. In spite of the worship style, music selections, racial composition, or size, if the congregation is a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching, Gospel preaching extremity of the Body, then everything should be done to win lost souls. Therefore, my arm is still uniquely my arm, but cannot effectively reach unless it is attached to and working with my hand.
However, too often we have our own agendas: to produce a better musical than the other church, to prove how much we know about the Bible, to ensure that “my position” is secure, to see what new single person has come to visit, or to make sure we are comfortable with the people that sit next to us. These selfish motives amputate us and prevent us from seeing the true power of the whole Body at work. It is assumed that people of like-minds/beliefs/practices are able to labor side by side with the common goal of uplifting the name of Jesus, spreading the Gospel, and meeting people where they are so that all can encounter a personal relationship with Christ.
Will there be disagreements, hot tempers, and questions? Yes, however, if the place where the joints come together is Jesus, then we should be able to come to a compromise on our differences because we agree that the methods may be different but the principle remains constant. “Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News” (Philippians 1:27 NLT). It is time for us put aside pettiness, clear the convenient fog of distractions and come together on one accord in the name of Jesus regardless of denomination, race, or opinion standing on the foundation of God’s Word.